Israel Resource Review 4th January, 2007


Contents:

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER SPOKESWOMAN REASSURES THAT ABBAS HAS NOT SANCTIONED MISSILE ATTACKS. ABBAS'S OFFICERS DENY IT
David Bedein


ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER SPOKESWOMAN REASSURES THAT ABBAS HAS NOT SANCTIONED MISSILE ATTACKS. ABBAS'S OFFICERS DENY IT

Since Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now describes Palestinian Authority President and Fateh chairman Machmud Abbas as a "moderate". ["There are among the Palestinians responsible and moderate sources who openly say they want to make peace with Israel,".- December 25th, 2006],

This reporter then asked Olmert's press secretary if Israel would demand that Abbas disband the Al Aksa Brigades of the Fateh that act under his command after Al Aksa Brigades took credit for firing missiles into the Israeli port city of Ashkelon, narrowly missing the key Ashkelon power station.

Miri Eisin, spokesperson for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, answered that query this week from the Bulletin, and said the al-Aqsa Brigades members firing the projectiles from Gaza are not affiliated with Fatah and don't take orders from Abbas. She said the terrorists are simply paid directed by the Iranian-backed Hezbullah terrorist organization.

However, Abu Ahmed, the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades leader in the northern Gaza Strip, informed Aaron Klein ,who writes for the World Net Daily, an on line news service that their terrorists who launch missiles against Israeli targets are loyal to Abbas and that they coordinate "resistance operations" with the Fatah party.

"The al-Aqsa Brigades is the military wing of the Fatah and the President Abu Mazen (Abbas) is the chairman of the movement. We are committed to our leadership, to Abu Mazen. All our activity is in accordance with the political line of Fatah, which consists of fighting the occupation until the creation of a Palestinian state. The rocket shooting is part of this vision," Abu Ahmed said.

Asked why Abbas distances himself from al-Aqsa's rocket firing, Abu Ahmed told WND, "Listen, we are aware of our president's (Abbas') declarations but we are also aware of the international political system that brings the president to adopt this position."

Abu Ahmed also told Klein that Abbas never asked his group to halt the rocket fire.

"We know what is Fatah's general political line and we act according to this line and I can say that we were never asked to stop shooting rockets. Therefore, the rocket shooting is not in any way harming our loyalty and our commitment to (Abbas) and his leadership."

Meanwhile, other Al Aksa Brigades sources said they coordinate their attacks with Mahmoud Dahlan, Abbas's strongman in Gaza.

"We are still totally committed to Fatah and (Abbas) regardless of help from other groups. The help is sanctioned by Fatah," a Brigades source said.

Both Israel and the US State Department consider the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades to be an FTO, a "foreign terror organization".

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, together with Islamic Jihad, has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis. The Brigades also has carried out scores of deadly shooting and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians in recent months.

Abbas last June appointed senior al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades leader Mahmoud Damra as commander of Force 17. Damra, who was arrested by Israel in November, was on Israel's most-wanted list of terrorists.

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