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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this week declared three days of mourning for the death of an infamous terrorist leader whose career included leading the hijacking of airliners in the U.S. and vehemently opposing peace agreements with Israel.

According to Palestinian diplomatic sources speaking to WorldNetDaily, Abbas has been personally receiving lines of mourners for George Habash, who was the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.

Habash, 81, died of a heart attack and was buried in Amman, Jordan. His PFLP gained notoriety in 1970 for hijacking four Western airliners over the U.S., Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf. The aircraft were blown up in the Middle East after passengers and crews disembarked. Then in 1972 the PFLP gunned down 27 people at Israel’s Lod airport.

The PFLP continues to operate from Syria, Jordan and the West Bank. More recent attacks include scores of deadly shootings against Israelis, the 2001 assassination of Rechavam Zeevi, Israel’s tourism minister, and suicide bombings on an Israeli highway and in Tel Aviv’s Karmel Market.

Abbas, regarded by U.S. policy makers as a moderate, has been receiving a line of mourners at his office, interrupted temporarily by a meeting Sunday with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during which the two discussed the peace process.

A Temporary Ruse

The stated Palestinian goal of a Palestinian state is just a temporary ruse until “all of Palestine” can be “liberated,” declared Saleh Raafat, a member of the executive committee of Abbas’s Palestine Liberation Organization in an interview on Fatah’s official television network.

Raafat said the Palestinians would accept “22 percent of Palestine” as a “temporary and not permanent” state until “all of Palestine” can be liberated.

Free Access at Egypt-Gaza Border

Egyptian security forces did not interfere as massive quantities of weapons moved across the Egyptian border into the Gaza Strip last week after sections of the wall at the border were bombed, according to Palestinian militant sources at the scene.

“Very good things came in [to Gaza],” said a senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, a Gaza-based terror group allied with Hamas. The leader spoke to this column from Gaza on condition his name be withheld.

“Egyptian security men at the border were very passive – they wanted this to happen; they didn’t prevent anything from coming in or going out,” he said.

Some 350,000 Palestinians reportedly poured out of Gaza into Egypt after masked men detonated 17 bombs, destroying some two-thirds of a wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

More From Israel’s Peace Partner

While Israeli negotiators held peace talks last week with members of Abbas’s Fatah organization, Fatah’s declared military wing called this column to take credit for two simultaneous terror attacks in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

Terrorists fired on Israelis at the entrance to the Shoafat Palestinian Arab camp north of Jerusalem, killing one Israeli and severely injuring another. At the same time, terrorists stabbed two Israelis at the settlement of Kfar Etzion. The two terrorists were shot and killed.

Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades called to take credit for the two attacks.

Strategic West Bank shootings apparently have become part of a Brigades strategy following November’s U.S.-backed Annapolis summit at which Olmert committed to negotiations with Fatah aimed at creating a Palestinian state before the end of the year. The shootings may now have moved into Arab sections of Jerusalem that would likely be slated for Israeli evacuation according to the Annapolis framework.

In November, days before Abbas departed for Annapolis, Brigades terrorists called this column to take credit for a West Bank shooting attack that killed Israeli civilian Ido Zoldan.

The Israel Defense Forces waited two weeks – until after the Annapolis summit – before releasing an announcement that Israeli security agents had caught the culprits of the Zoldan murder immediately following the attack.

The culprits were part of a cell of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades whose members double as paid police officers for Abbas’s Fatah organization.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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