(Tel Aviv) Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center condemns this morning’s brutal murder of a suspected Israeli agent in Bethlehem. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organization, a branch of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the execution.

This is the second time this week that terrorist cells under Arafat’s command have murdered a suspected operative. On Tuesday, Fatah terrorists in Ramallah shot to death Palestinian taxi driver Tahseen Abu Arkub, 50, a Ramallah area resident. A masked spokesman for the organization alleged that Abu Arkub had assisted the Israel Defense Forces in identifying and arresting fugitive Palestinians. "We shot him dead with four bullets to the head and chest in Ramallah because he was a collaborator who has helped Israel kill and detain many Palestinians," the unidentified
Palestinian told the Reuters news agency.

Abu Arkub’s son had also been killed by Al-Aqsa Brigade terrorists last year.

On January 25, 2004, Fatah Tanzim murdered another suspect agent, Nidal al-Dabbik, 27, in Nablus. In October, Palestinian gunmen killed Nasser Kalawleh, 25, in Ramallah, alleging he was also working for Israel. In September, terrorist claimed responsibility for the murder of an accused operative in Tulkarm. Fida Tirawi, 27, was shot to death in a hospital ward as he was recovering from surgery.

In July, Al-Aqsa Brigade assassins murdered Qaad Abu Shalbayah in Ramallah after accusing him of working for Israel’s General Security Service. Abu Shalbayah had been in Palestinian police custody on his way to court when three masked men ambushed and killed him. The police officers escorting Abu Shalbayah made no effort to protect him nor did they seek to capture the masked assailants as they fled. Eyewitnesses to the shooting in Ramallah have told Shurat HaDin that the "hit" on Abu Shalbayah was "quite obviously arranged by his police guards."

Since the signing of the Oslo agreements between Israel and the PLO in 1993, several hundred so-called "collaborators" have been murdered by Palestinian terrorist groups. To date, the PA police have never conducted any investigation into the killings nor have they made any arrests of suspects.

In recent months, hundreds of Palestinians accused of being Israeli agents have been arrested by the Palestinian police in the areas under the Palestinian control and are being held without trials. At least nine such prisoners have been sentenced to death after receiving speedy "trials" before Palestinian military tribunals that lasted less than one hour.

According to Shuarat HaDin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: “Arafat continues to order his terrorists to murder his fellow Palestinians in cold blood. The wanton killing of suspects and savage revenge murders are a small preview of the violence and crime that will prevail in any future Palestinian state. The United Nations which stood by while the mass murders in Rwanda unfolded a decade ago must begin to investigate the mass murders being perpetrated in the PA.”

In addition to this week’s murders, masked gunmen of the Fatah faction have killed three Palestinian women, who were accused of “collaborating” with Israel in recent months. In August, 2002 Fatah killed Ikhlas Khouli, 35, a mother of seven, in the streets of Tulkarm. Three days later, the terrorist group murdered Rajah Ibrahim, 18, in Tulkarm's public square. Last October, Fatah shot to death Haifa Sultan, 39, in an alley in Nablus.

According to international groups monitoring the PA, only a small portion of those accused of being collaborators, were actually in the Israeli security services' employ. Many are merely victims of family/clan disputes with members of the various terrorist organizations.

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