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Hijacked by the Hudna

May 9, 2009 | by

The road map is taking a back seat to an internal Palestinian deal.

Supporters of Israel should be bewildered by recent media reports that are factually incorrect in describing basic points of the Mideast road map. The background:

A key component of the road map is the uprooting of terror groups. The PA, however, rather than directly confront Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, cut a deal with them on the side -- a hudna, or tactical ceasefire.

The hudna between the PA and terror groups sets an outrageous condition for suspending Palestinian terror: Israel's "release of all prisoners and detainees, Palestinian and Arab... without condition or restriction."

Remarkably, Israel has been willing to release scores of prisoners as a goodwill gesture, and on July 6 the Israeli cabinet approved the release of an additional 300.

The PA's reaction: PA minister Abdel Razek said the PA will stop implementing the road map and will halt all negotiations with Israel if Israel doesn't release all of the Palestinian prisoners. And Radi Jarai, deputy PA minister, said "there is a hudna that has been announced and Israel has to fulfill its obligations in accordance with this agreement." (Jerusalem Post, July 7)

Look what's happened: The road map, accepted by both the PA and Israel to international fanfare, has been taken hostage by the hudna -- an internal Palestinian deal that Israel never agreed to.

The world media, in surreal fashion, have accepted this shift, allowing Hamas to set the terms for road map progress:

--- The New York Times reported (July 6): "The release of Palestinian prisoners is just one of many demands placed on both sides under the Mideast peace plan, known as the road map."

Actually, the road map says absolutely nothing about release of Palestinian prisoners. Only the hudna -- which Israel never agreed to -- demands a prisoner release.

[The Times removed this line in a later edition, but the original edition is still in wide circulation -- for example, on Yahoo News:]

--- BBC Online reported (July 6): "Israeli officials say members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad are not included among those to be freed, a decision which could jeopardise the truce and threaten the entire peace process."

Note BBC's logic: Israel's refusal to immediately release over 6,000 prisoners (many of whom are convicted murders) "jeopardizes the truce." BBC would have us believe that Israel, therefore, is the guilty party for the possible failure of the road map.

Stage One of the road map demands that the PA "arrest, disrupt, and restrain" terror groups, eliminating their influence. How have those same terror groups not only wrestled control of the PA's negotiations, but convinced the media that their outrageous demands are actually integral to the road map?!

Associated Press twists the truth a complete 180-degrees, presenting the basic tenets of the road map as some kind of Israeli-American subplot:

"Beyond policing the truce, Israel and the United States want the Palestinians to disarm and dismantle extremist groups..."

The road map is authored by the Quartet of the US, EU, UN and Russia -- and Abu Mazen's PA agreed to these terms. No, it is not just "Israel and the United States [who] want the Palestinians to disarm and dismantle extremist groups."

It is incumbent upon all supporters of Israel to monitor their local media for distortion of the agreed terms of the road map, and the trend to hold Israel responsible for internal Palestinian agreements.

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