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"Palestinians" killing "Palestinians"

Palestine Royal Commission Report said "toleration by the Government of subversive [terrorist] activities, more especially those of the Mufti of Jerusalem,"1 included not only terrorism of Jews but also of moderate Arabs and those effendis engaged in a power struggle with the Islamic leadership. As the Palestine Royal Commission Report had observed, with uncharacteristic indignation in 1937,

... intimidation at the point of a revolver has become a not infrequent feature of Arab politics. Attacks by Arabs on Jews, unhappily, are no new thing. The novelty in the present situation is attacks by Arabs-on Arabs. For an Arab to be suspected of a lukewarm adherence to the nationalist cause is to invite a visit from a body of "gunmen." Such a visit was paid to the editor of one of the Arabic newspapers last August shortly after he had published articles in favour of calling off the strike." Similar visits were paid during our stay in Palestine to wealthy Arab landowners or businessmen who were believed to have made inadequate contributions to the fund which the Arab Higher Committee were raising to compensate Arabs for damage suffered during the "disturbances." Nor do the "gunmen" stop at intimidation. It is not known who murdered the Arab Acting Mayor of Hebron last August, but no one doubts that he lost his life because he had dared to differ from the "extremist" policy of the Higher Committee. The attempt to murder the Arab Mayor of Haifa, which took place a few days after we left Palestine, is also, we are told, regarded as political. It is not surprising that a number of Arabs have asked for Government protection.2
The Associated Press ran this story, "Palestinians Face Internal Violence" on March 16, 2002
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) -- One was strung up by his heels in the middle of a downtown traffic circle. The battered body of another was dragged through the streets before assailants tried to hang the corpse from a rooftop overlooking the traditional site of Jesus' birth. Two more were snatched off a West Bank road, driven to a deserted slaughterhouse and riddled with bullets.

Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel have frequently been targeted by fellow Palestinians during nearly 18 months of bitter fighting with Israel, but in recent days, the pace of these vigilante-style killings has picked up sharply. Seven suspected collaborators have been slain by Palestinian gunmen in the past week alone, compared to about two dozen until then.

The killings echo a grim pattern established during the first Palestinian uprising against Israel, which lasted from 1987 to 1993. In those years, more than 800 suspected collaborators were slain by fellow Palestinians -- about one-third of the total Palestinian deaths in that intefadeh3.

Assisted Suicide Martyrs

An even more disturbing trend is that there is increasing evidence that "Palestinians" are killing "Palestinians" not only for collaboration with Israel (which could mean as little as buying and selling an Israeli product), but also for bumping up the numbers of "martyrs" for the "Palestinian" cause.
  • When the current Intifada started, after Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, a handful of Palestinian rioters were "shot in the back" as they were throwing stones at the Israeli Police.  The Israeli Police never gave the order to use live ammunition.  If the rioters backs were towards the Temple Mount compound, from what direction did the shots come?  Jibril Rajoub, head of PA Preventive Security had led the Israeli government to believe that there would be no reaction to Likud MK Arik Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount as long as Sharon did not attempt to enter the mosque itself.  Yet exactly the opposite happened. (see How PA Violence was planned )
Using forensic evidence to try and trace the source of the bullets themselves would be complicated by the fact that the Israeli Government authorized the transfer of thousands of guns to the Palestinians, for use by the Palestinian Police force. “We have no problems with weaponry since we have enough guns that were given to us by Israel,” stated Abed el-Qader, Senior Tanzim Leader on March 8, 2001.
  • The film clip of the shooting of Al Dura, the 12 year old palestinian boy, shown worldwide clearly shows firing coming from someone who stood next to the Palestinian camera man Talal Abu Rahma (see Who killed Muhammad al-Dura? )
  • A BBC was killed by Hisbollah mortar fire, as the Israeli troops were retreating from Lebanon, was blamed on Israel.
  • The Christian German doctor from Beit Jalla who was asked to leave his house at 11:30  at night by Palestinian Paramedics, only to be gunned down 50 yards from his front door with bullet holes riddling the wall behind him that could not have come from an Israeli helicopter.
As far back as 1936, the Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem's "systematic extermination" caused the murder or flight from the country of any Arab suspected of less than total loyalty to the rebels: mayor, affiliated official, sheikh, village mukhtar (headman), rival Arab notable, and even prominent Muslim religious figures-all were victims.  In larger part he took his queue from similar German SS actions. (see Muftism and Nazism: World War II Collaboration Documents )

The mayor of Hebron, Nasr el Din Nasr, murdered August 4, 1936, was a close ally of the Mufti's chief opponent, Ragheb Bey Nashashibi; the wife and daughter of the mayor of Bethlehem were wounded July 1937; the mayor Nablus, Suleiman Bey Toukan, who publicly warned the government of chaos if terrorism was not squelched, fled after attempted assassination in December of 1937. No fewer than eleven mukhtars were slain, along with family members, between February of 1937 and November of 1938.
Feb. 1937 Mukhtar of Arab Birket Caesarea
Sept. 1937 Balad Esh Sheikh
Dec. 1937 Shahmata
April 1938 Migdal. He was a Christian Arab. His wife was also murdered.
April 1938 Mafaleen
Aug. 1938 Ejn Razal
Aug. 1938 Beth Mahsir
Sept. 1938 Wife and three sons of the Mukhtar of Deir Es Sheikh. Mukhtar was absent at the time.
Oct. 1938 Mukhtar of Ard-el-Yehud, near Haifa. He was a Christian Arab.
Oct. 1938 Beth Hema
Nov. 1938 Akaba Quarter, Nablus

"During the same period, attempts were made on the life of the Mukhtar of Lifta
village (July 1937), and the Mukhtar of Seir (October, 1938)"; cited in Arab v. Arab, pamphlet, Wadsworth and Co., Rydal Press, Keighley, England, 1939, p. 13; also see Palestine, October 6, 1937, vol. XII, no. 40, for list of Arab "notables" "murdered between April and September, 1937."

Muslim religious leaders murdered or wounded included the following:
March 1938 Sheikh Yunis el Husseini, head of El Aqsa Mosque administration, was wounded.
July 1938 Sheikh Ali Nur el Khatib, of El Aqsa Mosque, was murdered.
Dec. 1938 Sheikh Dauoud Ansari, Imam of El Aqsa Mosque, was killed (after fourth attempt).

Other Sheikhs who were murdered then by Arab terrorists included:
July 1938 Sheikh Nusbi Abdul Rahim, Counsel to the Moslem Religious Court, murdered at Acre.
July 1938 Sheikh Abdul el Badawi, murdered at Acre.
Nov. 1938 Sheikh El Namouri, murdered at Hebron

A similar list of "moderate" Arabs, including Anwar Sadat, etc. who have been exterminated recently by the Militant Palestinian Groups-the modem "Muftism"--could be compiled today.

What most outsiders don't realize is that the "Palestinians" are not really a single ethnic group.  Samuel Herbert, the first British High Commissioner for Palestine said in 1921, "Four-fifths of the whole population are Moslems. A small proportion of these are Bedouin Arabs; the remainder, although they speak Arabic and are termed Arabs, are largely of mixed race." They are a collection of immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Egypt and the East and West Banks of the Jordan river.  Containing Suni, Shiite, Kurd Moslems as well as small numbers of Christians. Palestine, until 1967, was never thought of as separate state, but rather refereed to part of Southern Syria, although it was at times part of Syrian and Egyptian conquests.

1. Palestine Royal Commission Report, p. 366.
2. Ibid., p. 135.
3. IDF statistics report the actual numbers to be between 1000-1200.

Summary Executions


News and comment on Middle East affairs, compiled by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, publishers of the monthly Middle East Digest.


In a sign of spiraling mistrust and lawlessness in Palestinian areas over the past week, two Palestinians were summarily executed for alleged collaboration with Israel, three more were secretly murdered by militants, another two have been sentenced to death, and at least five others have been arrested as suspected informers. And in Gaza on Wednesday, the head of Palestinian TV was shot dead by masked gunmen in an unexplained hit.

The director of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation was killed today  when three masked men, armed with weapons equipped with silencers, opened fire on him at close range as he left the Gaza Beach hotel in Gaza City. Hisham Miki, 54, died 15 minutes after the attack. He had headed "Palestine Television" since its founding in 1994 and was a close associate of PLO chief Yasser Arafat.

While the mysterious incident is still under investigation, the Palestinian Authority issued a statement saying he was "gunned down by bullets of treason and betrayal," a suggestion the shooters had ties with Israel. But some Palestinian sources indicated it may have been linked to charges the TV director was involved in corruption with PA officials. Then again, another Palestinian source offered a third theory, saying Islamic extremists may have targeted him for his extensive business dealings with Israelis.

The PA has declared war on suspected Palestinian informers assisting Israel in its campaign to "eliminate" key leaders of armed militias and terrorist cells. At noon on Saturday, PA firing squads executed two men convicted of collaborating with Israel in recent hits on Palestinian operatives. Hours later, a court in Bethlehem convicted two more accused collaborators to death and two more to life in prison at hard labor.

In addition, three corpses of Arab men have been found in the last three days, victims of armed Palestinian militants. On Monday, the body of Muhammed Haled was found near Nablus, shot at the entrance to his home. 

Palestinian sources said Haled was shot by three masked men on suspicion of collaboration. 

On Tuesday, the bullet-riddled body of 40-year-old Mourshed Rafiq Suliman, a resident of a PA-ruled village near Jenin, was found by Israeli police. ISRAEL RADIO reported that he too was killed on suspicion of collaborating with Israel. Palestinian sources said masked men dragged the man from his home late Monday night. 

And on Wednesday, a Palestinian was found shot to death in a car in the vicinity El Bireh, near Ramallah, ISRAEL RADIO reported. The man appears to be the latest victim in a wave of Palestinian attacks on Palestinians.

The body of a fourth man was found by PA forces this morning near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim in Gaza. The man had been shot in the head under circumstances that are still unclear.

Much like in the first intifada from 1987 to 1993, Arab on Arab violence seems to be running rampant, as law and order breaks down and local militias rule the street. As many as 1,000 Palestinians were murdered by other Palestinians during the earlier uprising. While most were charged with "collaborating" with Israel, many of the killings were actually committed to settle scores in clan feuds and money disputes. 

By many accounts, the spree of murders left more Arabs dead at the hands of fellow Arabs than from Israeli forces. This pattern follows the PLO's
record over the decades of killing far more Arabs than Jews in its bloody campaign for Palestinian statehood.

The recent spate of murders are not the first hits on suspected collaborators during the renewed intifada. On December 17, for example, an Arab man who had served in the Israeli police years ago and was forced to flee to the Israeli town of Ariel was ambushed by Palestinians during a visit to his home village nearby. He was falsely drawn there by promises to his family that a "sulha" (a traditional Arab reconciliation dinner) was being arranged.

The current situation has deteriorated to the point that any Palestinian associated with Israelis has come under increased suspicion and hostility. Even Palestinian workers have been stoned in recent days when lining up at the Erez crossing point on the way to jobs inside Israel.

Fatah officials in Jerusalem said four more Palestinians turned themselves in to the PA as part of an "amnesty" program. Also on Tuesday, Palestinian Preventive Security forces reported that they arrested a cell of five "collaborators" in Hebron. The group members are accused of having passed information to Israel that helped lead to the assassination of Hamas activists in the city. Palestinian sources told ARMY RADIO that the five members will go on trial at the Court for National Security, where they face possible execution.

Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti said the PA should be in charge of dealing with collaborators, but added that if the PA does not take the necessary action, Fatah would instead.

Editor: David Parsons

Famed Refusenik Issues a Call To Save a Palestinian from Palestinians

By Eli Lake Staff Reporter

WASHINGTON - A Palestinian Authority police officer accused of helping Israel with counterterrorism is facing death at the hands of a firing line unless a last-minute appeal to President Bush can save him.

The cause of the police officer, Imad Sa'ad, is being championed by a woman who became famous as a political prisoner in the Soviet Union before she moved to Israel in 1987, Ida Nudel. It comes as Secretary of State Rice this weekend arrived in Israel for another round of diplomacy aimed at creating an independent Palestinian Arab state before the end of the Bush presidency.

The case raises questions about the intentions of Prime Minister Abbas's Fatah government in the West Bank. Mr. Sa'ad, a former member of the Palestinian Authority's national security forces, is accused of providing the Israel Defense Forces with the whereabouts of four accused Palestinian terrorists Mr. Abbas's regime was unwilling to hand over to the Israelis. In a court in Hebron he was convicted of being a collaborator. But cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on counterterrorism is a precondition under agreements for the relinquishment of land for a Palestinian Arab state. What's more, the sentence against Mr. Sa'ad was meted out by a judge from Fatah, which is Mr. Abbas's Palestinian faction and the one that Ms. Rice hopes her diplomacy will strengthen against Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorists who now control Gaza.

"Sa'ad's crime was simply reporting to Israeli authorities on the whereabouts of four fugitive Palestinian gunmen that the PA was unwilling to arrest," the director of the Israel Law Center, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, writes in a letter that will be sent to Mr. Bush today. "Fortunately, the security services were able to utilize the information and take out the terrorists before they could unleash any further attacks on Israeli civilians. This operation saved the lives of scores of Israelis and other innocent victims. It is no different than the recent preventive American
army attack on Al Qaeda terrorists in Somalia. However, for assisting in this operation, Sa'ad was arrested and sentenced to death by a Palestinian firing squad."

Ms. Darshan-Leitner asks for President Bush to suspend $200 million in security assistance promised to Mr. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority until Mr. Sa'ad's sentence is overturned. She has also sent out similar appeals to the European Union and the Vatican.

"President Bush, these so called 'collaborators' are Israel's front line in the war on Palestinian terror," she wrote. "They have assisted the Israel Defense Forces in thwarting thousands of suicide bombings and have saved many thousands of innocent lives. They must not be abandoned by democratic nations, such as the United States, which are combating terrorism worldwide."

The fate of Palestinian Arabs who have cooperated with Israel has been a thorny issue in the last 15 years of negotiations that began with the Oslo agreements in 1993. Israeli authorities have at times had to evacuate their former sources and have also pledged at one point openly in the Oslo years to refrain from recruiting new sources in the West Bank and Gaza. Nonetheless, the conviction and at times execution of these so-called collaborators by Palestinian Arab courts has been a semi-regular occurrence for Israel's peace partner, particularly after negotiations fell apart in September 2000 and Yasser Arafat called for a second Palestinian uprising.

Ms. Nudel has devoted much energy to saving Palestinian Arab so-called collaborators from execution. Ms. Darshan-Leitner, who is working with Ms. Nudel on this case, said that often the trials of the so-called collaborators are brief and the suspects are not allowed to be represented by an attorney. Another problem has been that those suspected of collaboration are often targeted by Palestinian terrorists, and thus far the Palestinian Authority has done next to nothing to investigate their murders, according to Ms. Darshan-Leitner.

At times, however, the advocacy of Ms. Nudel and the Israel Law Center has succeeded in obtaining the stay of scheduled executions.

Secretary Rice in Ramallah yesterday praised Mr. Abbas, and particularly his leadership of the security services. "It takes some time to deal with the effects of the Intifada, but a lot of it has to do with responsible actions by the Palestinian government and the Palestinian Authority which are really now in place," she said. "And because of that, I think you are going to see improvements on the West Bank."

In an interview, Ms. Darshan-Leitner said that she first appealed to Prime Minister Olmert to bring up the status of her client in the current negotiations. On April 29, she urged him in a letter to do everything he could to secure the release of Mr. Sa'ad. The letter included the demand, on behalf of Ms. Nudel, "that Israel employ its considerable military capability to launch a rescue operation to extract the prisoner from his cell."

New York Sun, May 5, 2008

This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst 
Brooklyn, New York 
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