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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s announcement last week that he will forge ahead with unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria – in spite of violence in Lebanon and Gaza that followed similar evacuations – amounts to a “victory for Palestinian resistance” and proof the Jewish state can be destroyed, a senior terrorist leader here told WorldNetDaily.

“[We are in] the beginning of a new era in the region [that] will break the psychological wall in the idea that Israel is invincible,” said Abu Maamun, leader in Jenin of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group.

Drawing fierce criticism from all sides of Israel’s political spectrum last Thursday, Olmert told reporters that the outcome of Israel’s fighting in Lebanon will create “new momentum” for the plan to evacuate Judea and Samaria. Abu Maamun’s comments followed Olmert’s statement.

“We won the war of Lebanon when [Prime Minister Ehud] Barak ran away in the night by withdrawing from Lebanon [in 2000],” said Maamun. “We won the first intifada [launched against Israelis in 1987] when [Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin called on Arafat to negotiate the 1993 Oslo Accords only in order to stop the intifada.

“The Gaza withdrawal is the first result of our second intifada and we see that Olmert still speaks of a second disengagement from the West Bank, and now Israel is under rocket attack. This is a great period and I believe a new era,” Maamun said.

Israel’s Fifth Column

Hizbullah has an advanced spy network operating inside Israel consisting of “tens” of agents, mostly Arab-Israelis who provide the Lebanon-based terror group with strategic information such as rocket targets and locations of military installations, Abu Oudai, chief rocket coordinator for the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank, said in an interview.

“Hizbullah agents have penetrated Palestine,” said Abu Oudai. “[Hizbullah] receives extremely high-quality information from their agents inside Palestine. We are talking about detailed maps of neighborhoods, locations of military bases and regular information every day from many sources.”

Israel says senior Brigades leaders, particularly the group’s cell in Nablus in the northern West Bank, coordinate their attacks with Hizbullah and receive funding from Iran and Syria funneled through Hizbullah channels. Several Brigades leaders have spoken openly to this reporter about their group’s affiliation with Hizbullah.

Since Israel started its military campaign in Lebanon last month following a Hizbullah attack, the Lebanese militia has fired more than 3,000 rockets into northern Israeli cities.

Israeli security officials say they have been surprised by the accuracy of Hizbullah’s rocket attacks. Several Katyushas have scored direct hits on Israeli military installations and other strategic sites.

While Hizbullah rockets lack guidance systems, the projectiles are launched from specific areas in Lebanon using a rocket’s known trajectory and travel distance to score hits on particular Israeli locations.

Israeli intelligence officials tell WND they are “very aware” of a possible Hizbullah spy network inside Israel and have been working to crack it. At least 12 suspected Hizbullah agents have been arrested in Israel in the past year. Security sources say they suspect most Hizbullah agents operating here are Arab-Israeli. They say Hizbullah’s most successful recruiting ground is Mecca, where Arab-Israelis travel on pilgrimage as required by Islam.

The sources said Israeli Hizbullah agents receive advanced training by Hizbullah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard members in the use of intelligence gathering and secured communications.

“Hizbullah, with the help of Iran, works like the army of a sovereign country,” said a security official. “This includes the recruitment and development of spy networks.”

More Weapons for Hizbullah

Palestinian militias operating out of Lebanon have passed large quantities of heavy weaponry, including rockets, to Hizbullah for use against Israel, a senior Lebanese political official told WND. The official said he had information that Palestinian camps in Lebanon were being used for Hizbullah training, and that some Hizbullah members are still operating out of the camps.

Palestinian groups, including Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, maintain armed bases in Lebanon, mostly in the al-Naemeh province just south of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley near Lebanon’s border with Syria. The groups also have offices in Syria.

Israeli and Lebanese officials say that over the years Iran and Syria have given the Palestinian groups rifles, ammunition, several kinds of long range rockets and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Israel previously has bombed Popular Front bases following rocket attacks it says were launched from the group’s military camps in Lebanon.

Arabs in Israel Welcome Bombs

Palestinians pray Hizbullah follows through with threats of firing long-range rockets into Tel Aviv even though some projectiles could fall short and land in Arab areas, said Brigades leader Abu Maamun.

Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned in a televised broadcast that Hizbullah would target Tel Aviv if Beirut was attacked by Israel.

Last week for the first time Hizbullah fired a Khaiber-1 long range rocket into Israel. The rocket, with a range of up to 70 miles, was thought to have been aimed at towns near Netanya, north of Tel Aviv. It fell short, however, and landed just outside the Palestinian city of Jenin.

Abu Maamun, whose terrorist cell is located about a quarter mile from where the Khaiber-1 landed, said he urges rocket attacks on Tel Aviv even though some projectiles might fall short and kill Palestinians. “The rocket here fell just meters from us and the people and everybody here were very proud,” said Abu Maamun. “We are ready to sacrifice ourselves if Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dimona and elsewhere are bombarded.”

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He is a co-host of ABC Radio’s nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show and can be heard regularly on other top American radio programs. Klein is editor of the Galil Report, an e-mail intelligence newsletter focused on news about Israel. Subscribe at www.g2bulletin.com.

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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