Groups tied to the Palestinian Authority are responsible for recent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip aimed at nearby Jewish communities, this column has learned.
Further, those PA-tied groups have been working with Gaza-based Islamist organizations that promote al-Qaeda’s ideology, according to Palestinian security sources.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been widely blamed for the rocket attacks, including the Kassam attack last week that killed a foreign worker in Israel’s northern Negev.
But sources close to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the PA’s official military wing, said about 90 percent of the recent rocket fire from Gaza was launched by cells of the Ayman Judah Brigades, which is an offshoot of the Al Aqsa Brigades.
Hamas officials said their own investigation into the rocket firings confirmed this assessment.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas chief in Gaza, told this reporter in a phone interview that the groups responsible for the rocket attacks “work under many names. We are investigating these groups in order to know what is the real background of these groups. Many seem tied to Fatah.”
Palestinian security officials in Gaza said Hamas has been working overtime to stop the rocket fire from Gaza for fear the attacks could prompt a large-scale Israeli response in the territory. The security officials pointed to Arabic announcements this past weekend in which al-Zahar personally forbids firing rockets from the territory for the time being. According to the sources, the PA is seeking to agitate an Israeli raid of Gaza in hopes of minimizing Hamas’s control of the coastal territory.
Palestinian Unity On Jerusalem
The PA has made a strategic decision to coordinate continued “resistance” in the eastern sections of Jerusalem, according to Palestinian security sources speaking to this column.
The sources, close to both Hamas and PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, said Palestinian protest activities will focus on Jerusalem instead of the West Bank in hopes of increasing pressure against Israel to discuss final-status issues in proximity talks brokered by the Obama administration.
The activities are being coordinated by the PA, which is working alongside the Hamas-allied Islamic Movement (although Hamas is wary of working with its PA rivals).
PA elements led by Hatem Abdel Kader, a top Fatah official in Jerusalem and the former PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, are involved in planning riots in Jerusalem, the sources said.
Also, Fatah strongman Mahmoud Dahlan, a longtime rival to Hamas, has talked to Hamas about collaborating on a strategy for riots in Jerusalem, the sources said. Hamas did not immediately reject the overture.
The Palestinian sources also identified Osman Abu Garbieh, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, as coordinating activities and protests in Jerusalem.
On Monday, Abbas himself announced the Palestinian people had a national right to “resistance” against what he called Israeli occupation, adding that his government would not acquiesce to any Israeli demands with which it disagreed.
More On Obama’s Past
A Chicago nonprofit on which President Obama served as paid director provided startup capital and later funding to Midwest Academy, an activist organization described as teaching tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation, this column has learned.
Also, in 1998, Obama participated on a panel discussion alongside Midwest Academy founder Heather Booth, an extremist organizer and dedicated disciple of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky.
The Woods Fund, a nonprofit on which Obama served as paid director from 1999 to 2002, provided startup funding and later capital to the Midwest Academy. This journalist first reportedObama sat on the Woods Fund board alongside William Ayers, founder of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization.
Midwest was co-founded by Booth’s husband, Paul Booth, a founder and former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical 1960s anti-war movement from which Ayers’s Weathermen splintered.
In 1999, Booth’s Midwest Academy received $75,000 from the Woods Fund. In 2002, with Obama still serving on the Woods Fund, Midwest received another $23,500 for its Young Organizers Development Program.
Midwest teaches Alinsky tactics of community organizing. Discover the Networks describes Midwest as “teach[ing] tactics of direct action, confrontation, and intimidation.”
In August 1998, Obama participated in a panel discussion following the opening performance in Chicago of the play “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky,”a work described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “bringing to life one of America’s greatest community organizers.”
Obama participated in the discussion alongside other Alinskyites, including Booth, political analyst Aaron Freeman, Don Turner of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Northwestern University history professor Charles Paine.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 77-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2:00-4:00.