Thursday, May 19, 2005

Jerusalem Mufti Unhappy with Catch-and-Release 

From an AFP story, via Yahoo (hattip to IMRA)

Israeli security services revealed they had arrested nine people suspected of plotting to attack the third holiest site in Islam as Jewish militants stepped up their bid to wreck the Gaza Strip pullout. [...] The arrests of the nine, who have all been released, followed an operation led by the Shin Beth internal security agency on suspicion that a group intended to buy one or more anti-tank missiles to attack Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, police sources said.
Well that was close. Apparently they thought about taking the mosque down, maybe planned on trying it, but were caught well before they could do anything serious. Good work all around.

Here's the reaction I find interesting though:

The Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Ekremah Sabri, accused the Israeli government of conspiring with extremists for failing to put them in preventative custody.

'Their release is a tell-tale sign of a kind of complicity. How can they be released when they are planning to attack the Al-Aqsa mosque? There is complicity and a lack of seriousness,' Sabri told AFP.
Geez that really sounds familiar. Like I've heard of this catch-and-release thing somewhere before.

Personally, I'd like the mufti's words printed up and posted on every wall in Ramallah and Gaza, maybe even a copy stapled to Mahmoud Abbas' desk. Abbas, like Arafat before him, has been engaged in this "kind of complicity", arresting and releasing, for years. The difference between the Palestinian and Israeli revolving doors is that the Israelis released people who were arrested before they could attack a building. The Palestinians agree to wait until after the murder of innocents before locking up killers for the weekend.

When it comes to "consipiring with extremists", no one does it like the Palestinians.
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