Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah leader and PLO veteran, was recently admitted for treatment to Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center-Ichilov Hospital, the largest acute-care facility in Israel.

Born in 1953, Rajoub joined Fatah—the largest faction of the PLO terrorist organization—at an early age and was sentenced by Israel to life imprisonment in 1970 for throwing a grenade at an Israeli army truck near Hebron and being a member of an armed group. Freed in 1985 along with 1,150 other Arab prisoners, including terrorists, in exchange for three Israeli soldiers who had been taken hostage, he was rearrested and released several times in the following years for terrorist activities, such as building terrorist cells.

In 1988, he was deported to Lebanon for his part in the first intifada. He moved to Tunis, where Yasser Arafat was based between 1983 and 1993. In 1994, after the Oslo Accords, Rajoub was allowed back into Israel, to the newly established Palestinian Authority, where he was head of the P.A.’s so-called Preventive Security Forces from 1994 to 2002. Rajoub’s name frequently comes up as one of the contenders for the post of successor to current PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas.

The trajectory of Rajoub, especially in his confrontations and interactions with Israel, culminating in his recent admission to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment, is symbolic of the relationship between Israel and the representatives of the PLO, the terrorist organization that has worked tirelessly to destroy Israel for more than half a century.

Once Israel would jail terrorists for life or expel them; today, Israel heals them. Rajoub, obviously, is not the first senior PLO leader to receive treatment in an Israeli hospital. In 2017, for example, PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat, who suffered from a serious lung disease at the time, received medical treatment in Israel.

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who has never sought to conceal Hamas’s explicit goal of eradicating Israel, has had an astounding number of family members admitted to Israeli hospitals, including his daughter, his nephew (the treatment was granted at the same time Haniyeh was praising a shooting attack in Tel Aviv that killed four Israelis), his granddaughter and his mother-in-law. Other senior Hamas figures have also had their families treated in Israeli hospitals, among them Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk, whose sister was treated for cancer.

This policy is a result of the fact that Israel admits tens of thousands of Arabs from the P.A. and Gaza into the country for medical treatment every year. In 2018, Israel reportedly granted 20,000 permits to Arabs living in the P.A. to enter Israel and receive treatment—3,000 more than in 2017. (The Israeli health coordinator also trains Arab doctors from the P.A. in Israel, helping to improve their capacity to treat patients.)

Notably, as part of Abbas’s recent attempts to create a humanitarian crisis, the P.A. no longer permits its citizens to travel for medical treatment in Israel, for which the P.A. pays approximately $100 million per year. As evidenced by Rajoub, however, Abbas has not extended that policy to include P.A. leaders, who continue to enjoy the benefits of Israeli health care.

Humanitarian policies are one thing, but it is highly questionable whether such policies should be so liberally extended (as Israel’s is today) to include one’s self-declared enemies  and their extended families. Not only is such a policy unprecedented in history—for a nation to save the lives of enemy leaders whose goal of total eradication has not changed over the past half-century—it is foolish and self-defeating. It is especially foolish and self-defeating in the Middle East, a region where the only currency that counts is power, and where humanitarianism is viewed as weakness and decadence.

If Israel ever wants to begin to even dream of anything approximating peace in the region, it will have to abandon policies that aid its enemies, such as literally saving their lives. Instead, it will have to show that it is willing to defeat entities that work relentlessly for Israel’s destruction—in whatever way necessary and certainly including letting the leaders of such entities deal with their own health issues.

Only once the enemy has been defeated and victory imposed will the region begin to hope to be able to build something that resembles peace.

Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst and a fellow with the Gatestone Institute.

This column first appeared on the Mida website.