Friday, January 18, 2008

U.S. peace partner's group shoots at Jew

Aaron Klein
© 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House in November (Courtesy Carrie Devorah)
JERUSALEM – While peace talks between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization continued this week, Fatah's declared military wing called WND today to take credit for shooting at an Israeli motorist.
"We are proud to declare that we shot at this Israeli and that we are back to leading the Palestinian armed struggle," said Abu Oudai, a chief of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group.

"We no more respect the talks of our leadership for a ceasefire and for stopping attacks. ...We declare the Al Aqsa Brigades has returned and that Israel will learn in the coming days what we are capable of," Abu Oudai said.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military wing, is listed by the State Department as a terror group. It took responsibility, along with the Islamic Jihad terror organization, for every suicide bombing in Israel in 2005 and 2006 and for thousands of shootings and rocket attacks.

(Story continues below)

In the attack today, an Israeli man was lightly to moderately wounded while driving on a main highway near the West Bank city of Ramallah in the vicinity of the Jewish city of Modiin.

The man reportedly sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on his vehicle from a passing car. He made it to an Israeli military checkpoint, where he was evacuated to a nearby hospital and troops were immediately dispersed to search for the perpetuators.

Today's attack by Abbas' group follows a visit to the region last week by President Bush in which the U.S. leader termed Abbas a "negotiating partner" and urged Israel to create a Palestinian state before the end of the year.

Bush aimed to inject momentum into negotiations started at this past November's Annapolis summit in which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to commence talks leading to a Palestinian state. Israel is widely expected to withdraw from most of the West Bank and key eastern sections of Jerusalem.

Senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met the past few days. According to top diplomatic sources in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Abbas and Olmert held a secret personal meeting in Jerusalem yesterday to advance talks.

Even with negotiations at full pace, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has been quite active the past few weeks.

WND reported that days before Abbas' departed to the Annapolis meeting, the Brigades took credit for a West Bank shooting attack that killed Israeli civilian Ido Zoldan.

The Israel Defense Forces waited for two weeks – until after the Annapolis summit – before releasing for publication an announcement that Israeli security agents caught the culprits of the Zoldan murder immediately following the attack. The culprits were a cell of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades whose members double as paid police officers for Abbas' Fatah organization.

Then two weeks ago, four armed Palestinians driving a jeep killed off-duty Israeli soldiers Ahikam Amihai and David Rubin as they were hiking with a woman just outside Hebron. Amihai and Rubin, both in their early 20s, managed to return fire before they died, reportedly killing one of the terrorists and injuring another. Their female companion was uninjured.

Immediately following the attack, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility during a news conference from the Gaza Strip and in a WND interview. Nevertheless, most major Israeli daily newspapers and television networks reported Hamas carried out the killings. Later, Israel's Shin Bet Security Services announced the two main culprits in the attack were members of Fatah's security forces and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

No comments: