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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Hamas has succeeded in smuggling “hundreds of tons” of weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip and is preparing for the possibility of launching a large-scale conflict with Israel, according to a report by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.

The report, drafted by Fatah’s General Security Services and obtained by WorldNetDaily, states that Hamas has smuggled from the Egyptian Sinai desert between several hundred and 1,300 tons of advanced rockets; anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles; rocket propelled grenades; raw explosives; rifles; ammunition; and other heavy weaponry.

Senior terror leaders in Gaza, including militants from Abbas’s Fatah party, said Gaza is preparing for war.

“We are turning Gaza into south Lebanon,” said Abu Ahmed, northern Gaza leader for the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror group. “We learned from Hizbullah’s victory that Israel can be defeated if we know how to hit them and if we are well prepared.”

Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’s Izzedine al-Kassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’s declared “resistance” department, also said his group is preparing for war against Israel.

“In the last 15 months, even though the fighters of Hamas kept the cease-fire, we did not stop making important advancements and professional training on the military level. In the future, after Hamas is obliged to stop the cease-fire, the world shall see our new military capabilities,” said Abu Abdullah.

Abbas to Request More U.S. Weapons

Following deadly clashes the past few days between his Fatah organization and Hamas members, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to request a large shipment of weapons from the United States, purportedly to arm his group against rival factions, a senior Palestinian official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Abbas has enlisted senior Egyptian and Jordanian officials to help him petition the U.S. for more weapons to arm his group, particularly Fatah security forces in Gaza, against Hamas.

The U.S. government previously sent weapons to Abbas in late May after the Palestinian leader, along with Israel, Egypt and Jordan, requested the arms to bolster Fatah’s Force 17 security forces against possible clashes with Hamas.

In June, this column broke the story of how assault rifles that were part of a cache of weapons transferred by the U.S. made its way to members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, some of whom are also officers of Force 17.

Abu Yousuf, a senior Force 17 officer who is also a Brigades leader, told WND that the U.S. and Israel facilitated the May transfer of weapons to his Force 17 unit “for its own political purposes. We are not concerned with the reasons. The weapons will not be used against our brothers, only [against] Israelis.”

Sources close to the Al Aksa Brigades said the American assault rifles were used in three separate anti-Israel shooting attacks in June, including one that targeted Israeli school girls.

Int’l RedCross to Flood Golan With Syrians?

Syrian President Bashar Assad this week issued a decree urging his citizens to move to the Golan Heights, claiming the International Committee of the Red Cross would help flood the Golan with Syrians.

Assad said the Golan Heights would soon be returned to Syria. His signed statement said Syrians who wish to move to the Golan will be granted approval by “all the relevant authorities.”

Israel officially annexed the Golan in 1981 and controls the territory, which borders Syria and Lebanon and looks down on Israeli population centers. The Red Cross has authority to operate in the Heights, purportedly to facilitate civilian crossings into and out of Syria in humanitarian cases. Israel must approve all cases of Syrian residents moving to the Golan.

The Red Cross can petition for entry for Syrian aid workers assisting its programs. The organization reportedly is building a new medical facility in the Golan.

Assad’s decree follows reports recently confirmed by Israeli intelligence that indiacte Syria is seeking to create a Hizbullah-like guerrilla organization to launch attacks against the Jewish state in hopes of prompting an Israeli retreat from the Golan.

Pope in ‘Crusader Conspiracy’ With Bush

Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting this week with a delegation of Muslim leaders and his calls for interfaith dialogue following earlier remarks about Islam are really “Crusader conspiracies” to subjugate the Islamic faith and force “Christian-Zionist” world views upon Muslims, a prominent Gaza Strip preacher told WND in an interview.

Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Gaza’s Jihadia Salafiya Islamic outreach movement, which seeks to make secular Muslims more religious, called the pope a “puppet” for “that Crusader George Bush.”

The Gaza imam said the only Christian-Muslim dialogue that is acceptable is one in which “all religions agree to convert to Islam.”

“True believers know Islam must rule all relations. The only dialogue we will accept is when all other religions agree to convert to Islam,” said Abu Saqer.

The preacher was reacting to a speech last month in which Benedict quoted a 14th century scholar who lamented Islam’s spreading the faith by sword and bringing only things that are “evil and inhuman” to the world.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for  WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on America’s top radio programs.

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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