Israel Won't Insist That All Militias' Weapons Be Collected

Israel will not insist on the collection of all of the weapons in the hands of the Palestinian militias, and even after the Palestinian Authority completes its reorganization this month, the groups will be free to keep their weapons.

Israel will rather make the demand that that the Authority immediately "plug," not "disarm," the rifles being held by the armed factions, and that it dismantle the "terror infrastructure," including the financial resources and incitement within the mosques.

The focus is on the munitions that are used only for terror attacks - bombs, Qassam rockets, mortars. Personal weapons, which for decades have been both a life insurance policy and a yardstick for respect in Palestinian society, may remain in the hands of the militiamen as long as they are stored and not publicly displayed.

IDF officer: Palestinian cease-fire a 'victory'The Israel Defense Forces regards the Palestinian cease-fire as a victory, a senior IDF officer reflecting the views of Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said Wednesday.

The Palestinian cease-fire, the developments on the ground since it was declared, and the signs of a sincere desire on the part of the Mahmoud Abbas government to fulfill its commitments "are significant moments that could appear, in retrospect, to be an end to the violent round that began in September 2000" and give a chance to the political process, the officer said.

Asked whether the IDF regards this as a "victory," the officer replied, "certainly."

The officer said the main danger of terror attacks in the upcoming weeks will originate from the cells of the Tanzim's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Popular Resistance committees in certain parts of Gaza, the Ahmed Jibril faction of the Popular Front, as well as from an Iranian effort, based in Lebanon, to strike at Israeli targets.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sticking to the discipline of their decision to halt armed attacks, said the officer, to a large extent because of the series of Israeli assassinations that caused concern for the lives of their leadership and the survival of their organizations.

In the new stabilizing security situation, Israel will only undertake "targeted prevention" against activists or suicide bombers on their way to an operation, and then only as a last resort if it is unable to stop them by itself or by passing over information to the Palestinian Authority.