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May 07, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-05-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Jewish Settlers Say
They're Ready To Fight

LARRY DERFNER ISRAEL CORRESPONDENT

I

he world worries what
will happen to the Mid-
dle East if the peace
talks fail. In Israel,
some people are beginning to
worry what will happen if
they succeed.
When the Palestinian and
Israeli negotiators talk about
"progress" and "optimism"
and "a new page," the Jewish
settlers in the territories hear
the early warning signal of
their demise. Of late they
have begun sending some
startling warning signals of
their own: They are threat-
ening to carry out their will
with guns.
The new focus of their
wrath is the notion of a Pales-
tinian police force in the ter-
ritories, as part of autonomy.
At a recent protest in
Jerusalem, 4,000 demonstra-
tors, mainly settlers them-

Rational and
reasonable people
don't allow the
terrorists of
yesterday to
become the
policemen of
today.

Yehiel Leiter

selves, cheered especially
loudly when' enny Katsover,
head of the Samaria -. Region-
al Council, said; ."
"We won't accept it. We will
stand against this police force.
We will fire on every armed
terrorist."
To the settlers, a Palestin-
ian police force, even if it were
agreed to by the Israeli gov-
ernment, would be nothing
but a bunch of terrorists in
uniform.
But to shoot them on sight?
Maybe this was just Mr.
Katsover's idea, and the
demonstrators were cheering
because they tend to be the
most militant of the settlers,
or because they were just
bluffing.
Dina Shalit, a spokes-
woman for the large, success-
ful settlement of Ariel, which
draws residents more inter-
ested in "quality of life" than
in ideology, doesn't think this
open-fire policy on Palestin-
ian cops would fly.

'We're very unhappy about
the idea, but from talking
with people around here, I
think the vast majority would
learn to live with the situa-
tion," she said. "We'll try to
fight it in other ways, but not
to the point of firing on uni-
formed policemen."
Mrs. Shalit, however, ap-
pears to be taking an unwar-
ranted sunny attitude. This
idea of firing on Palestinian
policemen, if they ever come
to be, has become the official
policy of the West Bank and
Gaza settlers.
'We suggest that everyone
treat a Palestinian carrying a
weapon, including a police-
man in uniform, as a terror-
ist," said Yehiel Leiter,
foreign media spokesman for
the Council of Jewish Com-
munities in Judea, Samaria
and Gaza, the settlers' main
political body.
And you will shoot to kill?
"We will shoot to protect our-
selves," , Mr. Leiter said.
This is the council's official
stance? "Yes," he said.
The threat to firing on
Palestinian policemen has
been taken up by a number of
prominent settlers, including
Knesset member Hanan Po-
rat of the National Religious
Party.
Asked on a TV news talk
show if this might not bring
settlers into armed, con-
frontations with Israeli sol-
diers dispatched to put down
the violence, Mr. Porat in-
..-sisted angrily, "Jews will not
fire chi-Jews!"
- reation of a Palestin-
The C
ian policb force has its origin
in the Camp David peace
treaty. "A strong local police
force will be constituted in the
(Palestinian) self-governing
authority. It will be composed
of inhabitants of the West
Bank and Gaza," the treaty
reads.
Faisal al-Husseini, head of
the Palestinian delegation to •
the Washington peace talks,
has spoken of 20,000 police-
men, while Israeli Police Min-
ister Moshe Shahal has
suggested about 4,000.
Prime. Minister Rabin has
said he's all for such a force,
without mentioning numbers
or other specifics, and has
urged that they begin train-
ing in Jordan and Egypt.
Against the protests of the
Likud and the other right-
SETTLERS page 9

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