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(photo credit: AP [file])
The Palestinian terrorists suspected of plotting to attack Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convoy earlier this year are being investigated as part of a promise by Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad Sunday to "draw lessons" from the incident.
"We are studying the incident and plan to do our best in order to restore the order in the region. We will draw all our lessons from the incident," Fayad said during a meeting with Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik in Jerusalem.
During that meeting, Fayad said that the suspected terrorists had been questioned and then released due to lack of evidence. They were then arrested again over the weekend.
"There was nothing imminently dangerous," said Fayad. "We are trying the very best we can to bring law and order to the cities, villages and areas that are under our control," said Fayad.
The meeting between Fayad and Itzik took place under intense scrutiny, especially after Israeli security officials recommended that they move the meeting to Jerusalem instead of its original location in Jericho.
"There are elements who are trying to sabotage the diplomatic process. This is not something new. We believe that the Palestinian prime minister and [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] join a group of moderates in the PA who wish to advance a peace process with the State of Israel," said Itzik. "The prime minister himself decided to continue with the talks. We must not halt the talks due to the incident, although I view it as extremely severe, and I imagine that the State of Israel will demand an explanation."
While Itzik kept her meeting with Fayad, Deputy Defense Minister Ami Ayalon (Labor) said that he would cancel his scheduled meeting with PA Prisoners' Affairs Minister Ashraf Al-Ajrami to protest the PA's conduct.
Meanwhile, members of the right-wing parties used the report to put further pressure on Olmert to cancel the upcoming peace summit in Annapolis.
"Olmert must immediately halt his contacts with Abu Mazen [Abbas] and announce the cancellation of the summit as long as Abu Mazen continues to provide cover for terrorists," said MK Zevulun Orlev (NU- NRP). His party colleague MK Arye Eldad added that Olmert should visit a synagogue and recite the special prayer for those who have been saved from great danger.
"Olmert must recite the traditional blessing, for having been saved from an assassination. Abu Mazen should recite a blessing for having a partner like Olmert, because anyone else would have cut off negotiations long ago, and the State of Israel should say a blessing for getting rid of Olmert," said Eldad.
MKs from the coalition also called on Olmert to reconsider the summit.
"We have received more proof that the Annapolis conference should be turned into an economic conference. With such a temporary feeling of security we cannot make advances on the diplomatic channel," read a statement from the Shas Party.
"A thousand workplaces are worth more than a thousand guns. Workplaces will create security, compared to guns which will stress the lack of security."
MK Ze'ev Elkin (Kadima) urged the prime minister to "freeze all talks on gestures to Abu Mazen until the members of the cell are taken back into custody and tried."
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said that the incident was a "classic example of the Palestinian Authority's 'so-called' policy of fighting terror."