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News Brief

May 3, 2006
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Palestinian counter-terrorism efforts last year fell “far short” of U.S. expectations, a State Department report said. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ “public condemnation of terrorist acts was not matched by decisive security operations following attacks against Israelis,” said the chapter on the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 2005 country report on terrorism issued last Friday. The report did not cover this year, when Palestinians elected the Hamas terrorist group to power. Palestinian security forces “did not take decisive actions to end the use of Palestinian territory for attacks on Israeli civilians” and the Palestinian Authority “did not make any sustained effort to dismantle terrorist infrastructure in territory under its control,” the report said. Israeli restrictions on Palestinian security forces contributed to the failure, the report said, but the Palestinian Authority’s “lack of political will” to confront terrorists “was the primary cause.” The attacks continued despite a truce in place since February 2005, but they diminished somewhat — partly because of the truce, but also because Israeli forces arrested or killed terrorist leaders, the report said.

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