Bush to be told of PA's terror ties

PMO: There are rogue, extremist elements inside Fatah and the Palestinian security force.

bush olmert 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
bush olmert 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The involvement of a number of Palestinian security officials in the murder of Israelis in terrorist attacks will be raised when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets US President George W. Bush next week, according to Israeli diplomatic officials. According to the officials, Israel has known "for a couple of days" that PA security officials were responsible for Friday's murder in the Hebron Hills of off-duty soldiers David Rubin and Ahikam Amihai, and that messages on this matter were sent to the relevant parties, including the US. "There are rogue, extremist elements inside the Fatah machine and the Palestinian security apparatus who have been responsible for not one or two, but a series of attacks," said Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev. "And this is ultimately the challenge for PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayad." Regev said that the question facing Abbas and Fayad was whether they would carry out "a thorough reform" so they would ultimately be able to implement their own stated goal, which is "one authority, one law, and one gun." This issue, Regev said, "is central to the current diplomatic process, and we can't ignore that reality. If this process is going to succeed, the Palestinians must put their security house in order." Palestinian security officials were also responsible for the murder in November of Ido Zoldan near Kedumim. Bush is scheduled to arrive next Wednesday afternoon, and leave two days later. In preparation for the visit, Olmert convened a meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday to strategize for the visit. Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin and senior IDF representatives also took part in the meeting, during which it was reportedly decided that both the IDF and the Shin Bet would continue with their current level of activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and not put their actions on hold until after the US presidential visit. Bush is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres shortly after his arrival on Wednesday, followed by dinner with Olmert. The next day, the president will have another meeting with Olmert, followed by a statement to the press. He is then scheduled to go to Jericho for meetings with the PA leadership. While Palestinian officials have announced a trilateral Bush-Olmert-Abbas meeting, this has not been confirmed by Olmert's office. Bush is scheduled to visit Yad Vashem on Friday, before leaving in the early afternoon and continuing with his eight-day Middle East trip that will also take him to Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.