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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven


Oslo War Tragedies Depicted on the New York Newspapers


The "Oslo War" is the current war the Arabs have launched against the Jewish state. The secret peace talks in Norway led to the Oslo Peace Accords with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin. The agreement granted limited Palestinian self-rule and earned Arafat, Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize

Shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords, a public campaign was launched by its opponents, urging the government: "Don't Give Them Rifles", for fear that those very same guns in the hands of the PLO would one day be turned against Israel. Sadly, such warnings went unheeded. Now, Israel faces an armed PLO insurrection.

The state of Israel has armed its enemies. The gave the "Palestinian police" 7,000 submachine guns of different types, 120 machine guns of 0.3 and 0.5 inch caliber, a number of boats (for the Palestinian coast guard) and 45 armored vehicles. These, it was stressed, would move on wheels, not on chains. The kinds of weapons and quantities of ammunition the Palestinians would be permitted were not specified. In the weeks preceding the summer of 1994, when the Palestinian forces took positions in Gaza and Jericho, Israel examined carefully every single one of the weapons which were intended for the new police force. Rifles were marked; numbers were etched into them; and in the laboratories of the army, the ballistic signatures were registered. The weapons were sup-posed to become personal weapons; the number on a weapon would be attached to an individual in the Palestinian police force just as is done with weapons in the Israel Defense Force, so that in case of a prohibited use of a weapon, Israel could quickly identify its owner. The careful marking was done in accordance with instructions by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in an effort to calm the Israeli public. The citizens of the state did not easily buy into the idea of resting their security on Arafat's men. The slogan of the right, "Don't give them rifles," and the arguments of the opposition that Palestinian policemen were nothing but terrorists in disguise, made an impression on the average Israeli who is usually apathetic, if not asleep. Therefore Rabin instructed the security services to undertake this effort to convince the public that its safety was being guarded.

Half of the weapons given to the Palestinians were M-16s. The Palestinians have increased their weaponry through two major channels: direct supply by Israel and smuggling. The Palestinians issued requests, five or six times a year, for more ammunition stores. All these requests -- every single one of them -- received a positive response. As of 1996, the Palestinians had stockpiled a million and a half rifle bullets, out of which one million were 7.26 millimeter caliber (for Kalachnikovs) and 400,000 were 9 millimeter caliber appropriate for pistols and Uzi submachine guns and 100,000 bullets of 5.26 millimeter for the M-16 and the Galil assault rifles. Like the rifles, the bullets were not directly supplied from the stores of the Israel Defense Forces but were acquired by the Palestinians by purchase abroad and were acquired with Israeli consent and supervision. The Palestinian police force was transformed into an army.

In the fall of 1995, at the height of the smuggling era, the Palestinians obtained still more help from an unexpected source -- Israel. The Israeli leadership knew well from intelligence reports that the Palestinians were arming themselves from their own resources. In spite of this Israel gave them a gift -- 8,000 new weapons. And there was an additional Israeli gift -- a tripling of the size of the Palestinian "police" to 30,000 men, all of this to accompany the signing of Oslo II. According to this agreement, 4,000 new "policemen" would be allowed in the cities of Judea and Samaria armed with Kalachnikovs and M-16s (duly marked by Israel of course). Four thousand additional policemen received Beretta pistols and to this were added 120 machine guns. Even so, it reached the point where there were 15,000 more policemen than officially permitted weapons in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. There was no escaping the conclusion that Rabin, Peres & Co. were aware of the fact this large force was not going to carry out its undertakings with nightsticks.

Most of the above came from an article: "Thanks for Arming Us" by Ariel Kahane.