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January 17, 2018 10:51 am

It’s Time to Outlaw Fatah

avatar by David Rubin

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in Ramallah, Jan. 14, 2018. Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a fiery speech on Sunday against US President Donald Trump, slamming Trump’s recent Twitter comment threatening to cut American aid to the Palestinians.

Abbas’ speech has sparked a media frenzy. What went unreported is that Abbas’ Palestinian Authority — and his Fatah political party — were responsible for the murder of 35-year-old Raziel Shevach earlier this month.

This father of six young children was shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist in a drive-by shooting attack on Israel’s Route 60, which loosely follows the Road of the Patriarchs — an ancient North-South route traversing the hills of Israel.

The PA is liable for that attack — and so many others — because it publicly and without restraint pays terrorists and their families more than a billion shekels a year, thereby enabling and encouraging terrorism. Payments are given monthly to all Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel, including the families of terrorists who have killed or seriously wounded Israeli civilians.

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According to a report by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the Palestinian Authority, in 2017 alone, paid seven percent of its annual budget to these terrorist prisoners and their families, totaling more than $358 million.

Security prisoners serving a minimum 20-year sentence for carrying out terror attacks receive $1,900 per month for the rest of their lives, while those with lesser sentences receive around $580 per month. The average salary in the Palestinian Authority controlled areas in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is around $580 per month, according to the ministry.

In light of these developments, it is time to finally declare Fatah the terrorist organization that it is.

Fatah means “to conquer” in Arabic, and the Fatah movement was founded to “liberate” what they define as historic Palestine — meaning all of Israel. In article 12 of the Fatah constitution, it states that their goal is to achieve “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

A recent report published by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli Defense Ministry agency responsible for administering civilian affairs in Judea and Samaria and the crossings with Gaza, said that about one third of the Palestinian prisoners are “directly responsible for the murder of Israelis.”

Earlier this year, Fatah and the terrorist organization Hamas signed a reconciliation deal, after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza. The reason that Fatah and Hamas were able to achieve this reconciliation is because Fatah and Hamas are perfectly aligned.

Just days before the reconciliation was announced, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for the formation of an Arab army to “lead intifada after intifada, until the job” of liberating Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is accomplished.

And nothing has changed, as we can see with Shevach’s murder. Following the shooting, Hamas issued a statement in praise of the “heroic attack.”

Because the Palestinian people — who themselves suffer when money is funneled to terrorists for the murder of innocent Israelis rather than to helping their social, educational and economic needs — do not act against their own government, it is time that the Israeli and American governments take real steps to eradicate Palestinian violence.

Shevach’s friends say that the good-hearted family man was deeply loved by all who knew him. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau described him in a statement as devoted to saving lives, teaching Torah and safeguarding Judaism in the Land of Israel.

In Shevach’s memory, the United States and Israel should clearly and definitively declare Fatah a terrorist organization — just like Hamas — and to treat those two major components of the Palestinian Authority as such, until the PA stops funding and perpetuating terrorism.

The US and Israel should immediately halt all cooperation with the PA, and place financial sanctions on anyone who does business with it.

Finally, Israel must close the roads connecting Palestinian Authority-controlled cities and towns to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, so that Shevach will be the last Jew killed in Israel in cold blood — for nothing but his religion and faith.

David Rubin is a former mayor of the Samarian town of Shiloh, the author of several books on Israeli history and politics, and the founder and president of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund.

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