July 20, 2004.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is blocking an investigation to find the killers of
three American security guards attacked in the Gaza Strip sites) last year, a
senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.
The United States has persistently complained the Palestinians have failed to
investigate fully the bombing of a U.S. diplomatic convoy but officials had not
directly blamed Arafat for the handling of the probe before.
“There has been no satisfactory resolution of this case. We can only conclude
that there has been a political decision taken by the chairman (Arafat) to block
further progress in this investigation,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
David Satterfield told lawmakers.
A Palestinian Authority court in March ordered the release of four Palestinians
who were charged with involvement in the October strike because of lack of
The attack strained relations already frayed by Washington’s efforts to sideline
Arafat and U.S. criticism of the Palestinian Authority’s failure to crack down on
militants who attack Israelis.
U.S. officials have called the bombing the first fatal attack to deliberately target
Americans since the Palestinian uprising against Israel that began in 2000. The
convoy was driving to Gaza City to interview applicants for U.S. Fulbright
In startling reversal, Bush administration admits P.A.
deliberately avoids capturing Killers of Americans
The Zionist Organization of America News Release, July 22,
The Bush administration has for the first time publicly
acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority’s failure to capture Palestinian
Arab murderers of Americans is the result of a deliberate political decision by
the PA to refrain from capturing them.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (July 20, 2004) reported that David Satterfield,
the second- in-charge at the State Department’s Near East desk, was asked at a
Senate hearing on July 20, 2004 about the failure of the Palestinian Authority
to arrest the terrorists who attacked a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Gaza in
October 2003, killing three American security personnel.
Satterfield replied: “There has been no satisfactory resolution of this
case. We can only conclude that there has been a political decision taken by
the chairman to block further progress in this investigation.”
Until now, the Bush administration had maintained that the PA was trying, but
was unable, to capture the terrorists involved in the murders of 51 American
citizens in Israel and the territories since the signing of the Oslo accords in
The ZOA is urging the Bush administration to respond with steps such as:
* Withdraw its opposition to the Koby Mandell Act, which would create a
special office in the Justice Department to focus on capturing Palestinian Arab
murderers of Americans.
* Demand that the PA hand over Abd Al-Aziz Awda, whom the U.S. indicted in
February 2003 as the founder and “spiritual leader” of an Islamic Jihad terror
cell whose victims included Alisa Flatow of West Orange, NJ, a 20 year-old
Brandeis University junior, who was murdered in a bombing near Kfar Darom on
April 9, 1995; and Shoshana Ben-Yishai, 16, of Queens, NY, who was
murdered in a shooting attack on a bus in Jerusalem on November 9, 2001.
Awda is head of the Al Qassam Mosque in the PA-controlled Gaza Strip.
* Place advertisements in Palestinian Arab newspapers, offering monetary
rewards for the information leading to the capture of Palestinian Arab murderers
of Americans. The State Department offers such rewards on its web site, but
has not advertised them among the Palestinian Arabs themselves – even though
in other cases of overseas murders of Americans, ads are routinely placed in
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Assistant Secretary Satterfield’s
statement completely changes the nature of the issue of the Palestinian
Authority’s failure to capture murderers of Americans. The administration now
admits this is a deliberate PA policy – this means the PA has consciously chosen
to side with killers of Americans. By President Bush’s own definition, this
makes the PA regime hostile to the United States, and it should be treated as
such – not given $213-million in U.S. aid and offered a sovereign state.”
By 74% to 10%, Americans oppose U.S. aid to the
The Zionist Organization of America News Release, July 19,
By an overwhelming margin of more than seven to one, Americans
oppose the Bush administration’s $213-million annual aid to the Palestinian
Arabs, a new poll has found.
According to the poll, 74.1% of Americans oppose U.S. aid to the Palestinian
Arabs; only 10.4% support it.
The poll was conducted on July 14-15 by McLaughlin and Associates, for the
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). A scientifically-selected sample of 1,000
Americans were polled.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “These poll results send a
message, loud and clear, to the Bush administration that funding the Palestinian
Arabs is just as wrong, as if the U.S. were funding Iran or Syria. The
administration was wrong to increase the annual U.S. gift to the Palestinian
Arabs from $100-million to $213-million.
The vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of seeing their tax
dollars funding the Palestinian Arabs’ suicide bombers and anti-American,
anti-Jewish, and anti-Israel incitement.
U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs may well be the single most unpopular
policy of the Bush administration.”