“Today it is crystal clear to everyone the Oslo Accords and Israeli evacuations lead to spilling of Jewish blood in all parts of Israel. This is exactly why the Jewish Code of Law forbids Jews to give up a border town – it opens the way for enemies to conquer the land,” the rabbis stated.
Militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s party have organized a terrorist cell in the northern West Bank over the past few days to commit attacks against Israel using the name Abu Ammar Brigades, according to Fatah militants leaders.
Through members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, this column was put in touch with a man identifying himself as Abu Muhammad, a leader of the Abu Ammar Brigades, a group officially formed in 2004 as an offshoot of the Al Aksa Brigades. It has mostly kept a low profile as far as taking credit for attacks under its name.
Abu Muhammad said his new West Bank cell of the Abu Ammar Brigades formed in recent days and is comprised of “tens” of Fatah fighters who have not turned in their weapons in line with amnesty agreements signed last week with Israel.
Abu Muhammad said his cell already has committed attacks against Israeli soldiers in the northern West Bank, including two shootings and one failed grenade attack this past weekend. He claimed that although some members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades may be in his group, the Abu Ammar Brigades is “working independently.”
One Israeli security official contacted about the purported new Abu Ammar Brigades cell speculated that the group is being used by Fatah militants as a way to attack Israel while distancing themselves from operations due to commitments to cease terrorism.
The move comes after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered amnesty to 178 Fatah fighters, including many who comprise the senior leadership of Fatah’s declared military wing, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. The Fatah militants signed a document pledging to refrain from terrorism. Over two hundred more Fatah fighters are slated for amnesty.
According to senior Palestinian sources, Olmert’s office told Palestinian officials during talks last week that the Israeli army will largely refrain from carrying out anti-terror operations against Fatah fighters, including Al Aksa Brigades members who were not granted official amnesty.
Israel, Syria Boost Military Presence Along Border
GOLAN HEIGHTS – Israel has visibly beefed up its military presence here in the Golan Heights while neighboring Syria reportedly has placed its army on high alert and – for the first time in 30 years – has opened a strategic border road to civilian traffic in a move some Israeli security officials worry could help facilitate guerilla attacks against Golani Jewish communities.
A tour of the Golan this week found multiple Israeli army positions that local residents and soldiers stationed here say were established within the past few weeks. More tanks have been patrolling the area, with several tanks setting up shop in strategic positions looking down on Syria. Makeshift military outposts have been erected and Golan checkpoints fortified.
Several old Israeli Defense Forces military installations in the Golan were reopened during the last two months. According to local soldiers, the installations have been largely unused since the 1980’s. In several Golan positions near the Syrian border, IDF tractors cleared the way in recent weeks so that tanks can amass in the area if needed, said soldiers stationed here.
Syria recently boosted its military presence near the border and reportedly increased production of rockets capable of reaching central Israel.
The escalating military moves on both sides come as a top official from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Baath party warned in an interview that if Israel doesn’t vacate the strategic Golan Heights by August or September, Syrian guerrillas will launch “resistance operations” against the Golan’s Jewish communities.
Rabbis Call On Peres To Repent
A group of hundreds of prominent Israeli rabbis urged veteran politician Shimon Peres to immediately “repent” for calling on the Jewish state to evacuate strategic territory they fear will be used by terrorists to attack Israel.
Peres officially was installed as Israeli president last week. Upon his inauguration, he stated that Israel must withdraw from the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Tel Aviv and Israel’s international airport.
“We call on Shimon Peres to publicly retract his ‘shameful’ remarks on the day of his inauguration calling for Israel to ‘rid itself of the territories,’ referring to the biblical Judea and Samaria (West Bank),” read a statement by the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, a coalition of more than 350 Israeli rabbinic leaders and pulpit rabbis.
“Our sages tell us in the Talmud that when a person assumes an exalted position, all of his sins previously committed are forgiven. But you, Mr. Peres, missed the opportunity to rectify your historical blunders when you declared so blindly that Israel must rid itself of the territories. You caused tremendous damage not only to Jews in Israel but to the status of the Jewish people the world over.”
The rabbinic leaders blasted Peres for leading the 1993 Oslo Accords, in which Israel evacuated strategic territory in exchange for pledges from the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to refrain from terror and make peace with the Jewish state.