State Dept. report: Weakening of PA increased attacks on Israel
By Nathan Guttman, Ha'aretz Correspondent and Reuters
Last update - 23:45 21/05/2002
WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department on Tuesday said that Israel had made Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority less effective by destroying its security infrastructure, and it absolved Arafat and his senior associates of responsibility for attacks on Israelis in 2001.
According to the annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001" report, IDF operations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank damaged Arafat's ability to reign in terror, and contributed to an increase in terror attacks against Israel. The attacks sometimes faced criticism from the United States. "Certainly the military activity there did do a great deal to damage the security capability and the security apparatus of the Palestinian Authority," Taylor said. The report went on to state that weakening the PA had assisted Hamas and other terrorist organizations in rebuilding terrorist infrastructure.
In its report the State Department said members of Arafat's Fatah movement had taken part, however, in attacks on Israel through the Tanzim organization and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
It said Tanzim was "made up of small and loosely organized cells of militants drawn from the street-level membership of Fatah." "Some Tanzim militants also were active in Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade," it added. "That's not a secret, but we have not been able to determine or to make final judgment on how far up and who in the PA may be or could be and had been directing this activity," added State Department counterterrorism coordinator Frank Taylor, briefing reporters on the report.
Someone please tell me what's going on. Is the US State Department facing an election campaign in Norway?