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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset a decision by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disarm terror groups, including the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, enables the Jewish state to bolster Abbas with funds and prisoner releases.

Abbas pledged during a summit two weeks ago with Olmert that he would immediately dismantle all militias in the West Bank. His office issued a decree for all armed groups to turn in their weapons. Abbas deputies told the news media that Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades agreed to disarm.

But senior leaders of the Al Aksa Brigades terror group denied to WorldNetDaily that Abbas had asked the terror group to turn in their weapons, stating that PA officials instead offered them refuge and encouraged them to continue their “resistance” activities.

“No one from Abbas’s office ever asked us to disarm,” said Nasser Abu Aziz, the deputy commander of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank.

Abu Yousuf, a leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Ramallah and a member of Fatah’s Force 17 militia, said Abbas’s claim that the Brigades will disarm “are more of a message meant for the Israelis, the Americans and the international community.”

Brigades sources said Fatah officials have invited some Brigades leaders to seek shelter in PA security buildings in the West Bank. Some Brigades members have been living in PA compounds, including the Muqata, Yasir Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah.

The Brigades sources said they were asked to leave the compounds last month, after the Israel Defense Forces threatened they would conduct operations to arrest Brigades members. But the Brigades sources said they were told this week they could return to the PA compounds.

Jordan Gaining Temple Mount Control

Jordan has been quietly purchasing real estate surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the hope of gaining more control over the area accessing the holy site, according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.

The officials said Jordan used shell companies during the past year to purchase several apartments and shops located at key peripheral sections of the Temple Mount.

The officials said Jordan also set up a commission to use the shell companies to petition mostly Arab landowners adjacent to eastern sections of the Temple Mount to sell their properties. They said profits from sales of any purchased shops would be reinvested in more real estate near the Mount and in eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The Jordanian shell companies at times have presented themselves as acting on behalf of the Wakf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount.

Real estate ownership in Jerusalem’s Old City is widely considered a sensitive matter. Previous Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals tentatively divided parts of the city based on Jewish or Arab residence.

Jordan previously controlled eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from 1948 until Israel liberated the territory in the 1967 Six-Day War. During the period of Jordanian control, Jews were barred from the Western Wall and Temple Mount. Judaism’s holiest sites, and hundreds of synagogues were destroyed, and Jordan constructed a road in the area, bulldozing hundreds of Jewish gravestones.

‘More London bombings on the way’

The thwarted car bombings in London last week and the terror attack against Scotland’s busiest airport were “completely justified” and likely the beginning of many more attacks in Britain, a prominent UK Islamist leader told this column.

“A war is being waged against Muslims on every level. There are many in Britain who take their ideology from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and are ready to carry out many more attacks,” said Anjem Choudary, founder and former chief of two British Islamic groups disbanded by the British authorities under anti-terror legislation.

Choudary said the attempted terror attacks during the past few days, in which Mideast nationals are suspects, were likely aided by local British Muslims.

Choudary currently presents himself as an Islamic lecturer and a leader of Britain’s Shariah Islamic court. He is a founder and former chief of Al Muhajiroun, a British group that sought to impose an Islamic state on the UK and that was allied with the goals of Al-Qaeda.

Choudary last weekend led a protest outside London’s Central Mosque, attended by this writer, calling for the downfall of the British government. British flags were burned at Choudary’s protest. Ralliers chanted, “Down with Britain, down with the Queen.”

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. 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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