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Fatah Behind Terror Attack Inside Israel

Monday, August 27, 2001 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

Israel's security services have captured the terrorist responsible for planting pipe bombs on a Tel Aviv bus two weeks ago, and it turns out he is a Fatah activist of Jordanian origin.

Israeli security officials said Abdallah Abu-Jabr, 25, was sent by officers affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction. The charge marks the closest Prime Minister Ehud Barak's government has come to directly implicating Arafat subordinates in plotting an attack inside Israel since Palestinian violence erupted three months ago.

Abu-Jabr was arrested the night after the attack, admitted planting the bomb and reconstructed the attack for interrogators. He is a Jordanian citizen who was living and working in Israel for two years as an illegal resident. He claims that a relative, a Fatah activist living in Nablus, recruited him for the attack. His handlers reportedly gave Abu-Jabr the bomb, he carried it to Netanya and boarded a bus for Tel Aviv, and a short while later alighted and activated the bomb by cellular phone.

The Fatah movement chose Abu-Jabr for the mission, the security source said, because of his Jordanian passport and a physical appearance that allowed him to move freely in Israel because he is dark-skinned and is taken to be African, a likeness that does not trigger security suspicions.

The investigation revealed that some of Abu-Jabr's handlers are officers in the PA's military intelligence organization, headed by Mussa Arafat. The defense establishment is unsure to what extent the organization might have been implicated, and has no evidence of Mussa Arafat himself being involved in any planning of the attack.

Hussein Sheikh, a Fatah leader from Judea/Samaria, did not rule out that the organization was responsible for this attack, and others, within Israel. Saying he supports the recent Tel Aviv and Netanya bombings, he claimed that Fatah had changed its policy of refraining from attacks across the Green Line in response to Israel's assassination of the group's leaders in the territories.

Mussa Arafat and other Palestinian security sources denied any connection to Abu Jabr. But Israeli security sources report that more than 70% of the violent activities during the Palestinian uprising are being carried out by members of Fatah and that significant among the groups involved are the preventive security apparatus in the Gaza Strip, and the General Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Force 17 groups.

According to senior security sources, Israeli intelligence holds information on the involvement of senior members of these organizations in attacks against Israeli targets, although no direct associations are made to the three top Palestinian security figures: Jibril Rajoub, Muhammed Dahlan and Amin al-Hindi. The Islamic radicals released from Palestinian Authority prisons at the start of the violence are also reportedly involved significantly in attacks against Israel.

Israel's defense establishment has lately received an unprecedented number of intelligence reports of PA officials joining the ranks of the Tanzim Fatah militias in order to carry out terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. Security assessments suggest that more than 80% of those involved in attacks against Israeli targets are known to the Palestinian Authority, though no efforts are being made to arrest them.

While Palestinian officials deny any involvement, a senior PA security official admitted that the authority would not do anything to prevent such attacks until there was progress on the political level.

Until recently, Fatah has publicly advocated attacks only in Judea/Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, but a Palestinian source said Fatah was preparing itself for more "military actions" if no agreement is reached and Ariel Sharon wins the election and rejects the US plan.

Meanwhile, a senior security official said there is "anarchy" in the territories and that Arafat is not fully in control. He said that the Palestinian leader has yet to give an order to calm the unrest, because even if he did, he would find it very difficult to implement. He estimated that it would take up to two months just to bring the Palestinian security forces into line and another six months to quell the Tanzim militiamen.

The Palestinian security apparatus has been rife with "semi-desertions" and Tanzim who are also serving with the Palestinian police. Israeli security services report that they have detected a new phenomenon of what they call "cocktail cells," which are made up of members from the Tanzim, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. These cells tend to be larger than the traditional terror cells, with over a dozen members in each.

Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

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Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Fatah Behind Terror Attack Inside Israel