An orphan's appeal
Yaacov Yaacobov was hard at work at the poultry processing plant in Sderot on Tuesday morning when Palestinian terrorists murdered him with a Kassam rocket.
Wednesday an Arutz 7 reporter spoke to his young son, Hanan. The reporter asked the boy whether he wanted to move away from his hometown to get away from the rocket bombardment. Hanan said no, he wanted to stay.
When the reporter asked him why he wanted to stay, the orphaned child with moonbeam eyes replied, "I love Sderot very much, and I won't leave it because I love the State of Israel. If I leave Sderot, if all of Sderot were evacuated, then the country would fall apart. The Palestinians will see that they are succeeding in Sderot, and then they'll shoot Kassams at Ashkelon and Ashdod too, and do the same in the whole country until nothing is left."
But three days after Hanan explained why Sderot must stand, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to let it fall. Saturday night Olmert ordered the IDF to end the limited counterterror operations in Gaza he had allowed it to conduct in recent weeks.
Sunday morning Olmert explained, "Last night the chairman of the Palestinian Authority [Mahmoud Abbas] called to tell me of the decision by all the Palestinian [terrorist] factions to cease their fire, cease all their violent actions, including smuggling [of weapons] in tunnels [from Egypt to Gaza], [end] the deployment of suicide bombers and the firing of Kassam [rockets]. I was happy and congratulated the head of the Authority, and the two of us will do all we can for the cease-fire to get started this morning."
By 6 a.m. all IDF units had abandoned their battle stations in Gaza, as ordered. Yet, when Olmert made this statement Sunday morning, the cease-fire had already fallen apart. By 10 o'clock the Palestinians had launched 11 rockets. And by the end of the day Abbas's Fatah terror group's Aksa Brigades had already disavowed the cease-fire, claiming it was unfair because the IDF is still "allowed" to operate in Judea and Samaria.
OTHER FATAH groups didn't even wait that long. Saturday night the Fatah's Army of Islam and Popular Resistance Committees, which co-kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit with Hamas in June, stated outright that they would ignore the cease-fire.
Sunday night Hamas was also threatening to resume its attacks. Hamas spokesmen argued that Abbas's intention to deploy 13,000 Palestinian forces to the border with Israel in northern Gaza was unacceptable. If Abbas deploys those forces, or if his forces arrest any of our terrorists, Hamas warned, the cease-fire will be history.
But then, even before it was announced or disavowed, the cease-fire was a lie. While Olmert told the Israeli public that as part of the cease-fire the Palestinians would stop smuggling weapons into Gaza from the Sinai and cease all weapons production in Gaza, every Palestinian official and unofficial body denied his claim.
That is, the Palestinians view the cease-fire just as they viewed all previous cease-fires - as a respite to be used to replenish their arsenals and retrain their forces. Hamas's commander Khaled Mashaal made this point explicitly when he said that his group plans to go to war with Israel in six to eight months.
Olmert and his cabinet ministers spent Sunday extolling the virtues of PA Chairman Abbas and waxing poetic about the opportunity that the cease-fire affords us to strengthen him and pave the way for an eventual peace deal with him. So great is the government's trust in Abbas that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Israel Radio that if Israel receives information that the Palestinians are about to shoot off missiles at our cities, before allowing the IDF to defend us, the government will first ask Abbas to have his guys take a crack at it.
THE AMERICANS, for their part, are not merely cheering Abbas, they are funding, arming and training his "Presidential Guard" and pressuring Israel to allow an additional 1,500 PLO terrorists into Gaza from Jordan to join Abbas's personal army. As US Army Lt. General Keith Dayton, who oversees the US training of Abbas's forces explained to Yediot Aharonot on Friday, Abbas's private army is supposed to be a counterweight to Hamas to ensure "that the moderate forces will not be erased."
To Israelis concerned about the prospect of being erased, and for anyone concerned with fighting the global jihad, statements like Olmert's, Livni's and Dayton's are infuriating because they are based on two glaringly obvious factual errors. First, Abbas's forces are in no danger of being erased. Second, they are not and never have been moderate.
As The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh reported on Friday, Abbas is the commander-in-chief of all the PA's security forces. While it is true that in recent months Hamas has been fielding an army which now numbers some 6,000 jihadists in Gaza, Abbas has some 45,000 military forces in Gaza under his direct control. As the commander of all Fatah terror forces, Abbas also has several thousand additional terrorists under his thumb.
Both the official Palestinian security forces and Fatah terror cells are armed to the teeth and are the chief beneficiaries of the weapons smuggling from the Sinai.
And yet, aside from shooting rockets, missiles, bullets and bombs at Israelis; co-kidnapping IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit with Hamas and holding him hostage; kidnapping foreign correspondents and forcibly converting them to Islam; murdering and torturing Palestinians suspected of assisting Israel in fighting Palestinian terror (as Abbas is pledged to do), and running protection rackets that terrorize Palestinian businessmen, workers and professionals alike, Abbas doesn't use his forces for much of anything.
The last thing Israel or the US should be worrying about is Abbas's forces' defeat at the hands of Hamas.
AT THE same time, the last thing they can expect is for these forces to act as moderates. Over the past six years, Fatah terrorists, both in and out of the official Palestinian security services, have committed more terror attacks than Hamas. While it is true that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are commanded by Iran, it is also true that Fatah terror units are deeply penetrated by Iran and Hizbullah.
And yet, rather than accept the fact that Abbas is an enemy, not an ally, and that his "security forces" and Fatah "party" are actively involved in terror and racketeering, the US and Israel pretend that they are credible interlocutors. The US trains them and Israel allows them to be trained and pretends there is a chance that they will protect us from themselves.
In its press release regarding the cease-fire, the Foreign Ministry stated: "Israel is interested in maintaining a cease-fire as a means to end the violence and to enable progress in the political negotiations. In doing so Israel is knowingly undertaking the risk that the terrorist organizations will exploit the cease-fire to rearm and to rebuild their infrastructure."
When asked on Israel Radio about the prospect of the Palestinians using the cease-fire to rebuild their arsenals, Defense Minister Amir Peretz's strategic adviser Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilad answered rhetorically, "And we were stopping the smuggling until now?"
He went on to assure his listeners that Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who has to date enabled massive arms shipments to cross Egypt into Sinai, will now make sure that no weapons get through.
IT IS POSSIBLE that Olmert is playing a game of chance with the lives of Hanan Yaacobov and his fellow residents of the south in the hope of winning points with US President George W. Bush when he visits in Jordan this week. Jordan's King Abdullah set the agenda when he shamelessly told ABC News on Sunday that peace in Iraq is dependent on Israel's willingness to capitulate to Palestinian terrorists because the whole Arab world is deeply emotional in its support of Palestinian terrorists against Israel.
Hanan Yaacobov, who no longer has his father to guide him through childhood, has some very mature guidance for Israel's leaders, who may think it preferable to be applauded by foreigners than to defend their countrymen from our enemies.
"I, Yaacobov's son, am turning to you. Resign your positions! Resign. The defense minister and Olmert should admit that they can't do this, and vacate their places in the government to Bibi Netanyahu and to [Avigdor] Lieberman. If they can [defend us] I want to see their answer. If not, they should vacate their seats, quickly."
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.