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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Egyptian weapons transferred last week with the help of Israel to militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party will be used in attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Fatah militant told WorldNetDaily.

According to reports, Egypt transferred 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 20,000 magazines and two million rounds of ammunition to Fatah security organizations in the Gaza Strip to bolster the groups in clashes against rival Hamas factions. The weapons were driven through Israeli checkpoints and delivered to Fatah by the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel’s Defense Ministry announced that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved the Egyptian weapons shipment to “bolster peace in the region.”

But according to Abu Yousuf, a senior member of Fatah’s Force 17, which received the Egyptian weapons, the arms shipment will be used to attack Jews and “fight Israeli occupation.” 

Muhammad Abdel-Al, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, said his terror group would likely obtain some of the Egyptian weapons. The Committees is a coalition of several terror groups responsible for scores of shootings and rocket attacks.

“In all the security services, including in Force 17, there are activists affiliated with all the Palestinian groups, including ours, and Hamas,” Abdel-Al said in an interview with WND.

“We vow that there will be no use (of these arms) in a civil war, as we promise that should these arms reach us we will use them against the occupation and the Zionist enemy.”

Groups Use Cease-Fire To Form Guerrilla Armies

Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have been using a cease-fire agreed to last month to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip and build Hizbullah-like guerilla armies to confront Israel, according to senior IDF intelligence sources.

The sources said the Palestinian groups learned that Hizbullah-like tactics, such as raids on military installations and the use of antitank fire, can be more effective than ordinary terror attacks. They said Hizbullah militants have been helping to train Palestinians in the Egyptian Sinai desert bordering the Gaza Strip.

The sources said the IDF has been petitioning Olmert to allow the military to carry out large-scale antiterror operations in Gaza.

Senior terror leaders in Gaza, including militants from Abbas’s Fatah party, told WND they are working to copy Hizbullah warfare tactics.

“We are turning Gaza into south Lebanon,” said Abu Ahmed, northern Gaza leader for the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

Abu Ahmed said Palestinian groups are developing war bunkers inside Gaza similar to the underground Hizbullah lairs Israel found during the war in Lebanon. He said his group learned from Hizbullah that Israel can be “defeated with rockets.”

Hamas Threatens Attacks On U.S.

Members of Hamas are debating whether to carry out attacks against the United States, and may hit American targets if the U.S. continues to support Abbas’s call for new Palestinian elections, Hamas leaders told WD.

“There is no doubt that [Abbas] was encouraged to decide early elections after receiving American promises to support him politically and military,” said Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’s Izzedine al-Kassam Martyrs Brigades.

The terror leader accused the U.S. of instigating a Palestinian civil war. He said Hamas has not yet decided to attack the U.S., “but one cannot guarantee that this will be the situation if the conspiracy of chasing our government succeeds.”

According to Hamas sources, meetings were held in recent weeks in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to discuss the possibility of targeting the U.S. due to its perceived support of Fatah against Hamas.

Olmert Checkpoint Decision Enrages Military

The army here is “up in arms” regarding an order issued by Olmert to remove a series of West Bank security checkpoints that regularly stop terrorists from infiltrating Jewish cities.

In accordance with promises made to Abbas during a summit last weekend, Olmert instructed the IDF to remove 49 West Bank roadblocks and checkpoints.  Twenty-seven roadblocks are to be removed immediately, and the rest within a week, subject to a final decision by government officials.

Olmert also instructed IDF soldiers not to thoroughly examine every vehicle at 16 of the West Bank’s largest roadblocks.  Vehicle examinations usually cause long delays at the checkpoints.

Olmert said the moves were aimed at bolstering Abbas at a time when his Fatah party is engaging in infighting with rival Hamas factions.  Palestinians say the West Bank roadblocks and checkpoints are degrading.  They complain of waiting in long lines to pass through West Bank cities.

But according to IDF statistics, upwards of 60 percent of all attempted suicide bombings are stopped at the checkpoints.  Israeli soldiers routinely catch Palestinians at checkpoints en route to central Israel with explosives or suicide belts.  Many of the terrorists are caught during vehicle inspections.

Yair Naveh, head of the IDF’s central command, which protects access to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, said Olmert’s checkpoint removal order damages Israel’s security.  Other senior IDF leaders echoed Naveh’s comments.

“The checkpoints work.  It’s that simple.  It’s how we stop most terrorism,” a military official said.
 
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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