Friday, March 14, 2008


Israel's War on Terror in the West Bank - Tim McGirk (TIME)
Just because fewer Palestinian terrorists are slipping into Israel from the West Bank doesn't mean that they have stopped trying.  Says an officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF): "Our people sleep comfortably in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv because the IDF is putting in a huge effort, day and night, in the West Bank to prevent terror."  Last year more than 6,650 suspected Palestinian militants were rounded up, among them, claim Israeli intelligence officers, 279 potential suicide bombers.

IDF troops, in effect, prop up Mahmoud Abbas. Without the presence of Israeli troops, his advisers concede, the West Bank would soon fall to Hamas militants, just as Gaza did last June.  Israel's domestic intelligence service, Shin Bet, claims that in 2007 it foiled 29 suicide attacks.

SEE ALSO: Fatah Military Wing Tells Abbas to Fire Fayad, Band with Hamas - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, called on Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday to fire Prime Minister Salaam Fayad and "form a new government that would not abandon the armed struggle," in a leaflet distributed in Ramallah. It also called on Abbas to stop all contacts with Israel.

Several Fatah officials have accused Fayad of refusing to give their representatives enough jobs and salaries in the PA government.   They are also angry with Fayad because of his decision to stop paying salaries to thousands of Fatah members.

A Hizbullah flag, along with Hamas banners, adorned the home of a Palestinian man who was killed after gunning down eight Israeli students in Jerusalem last week. Hizbullah has long operated behind the scenes in the Palestinian territories, funneling millions of dollars to militant groups for attacks against Israel, according to Israeli and Palestinian security officials. Hizbullah's influence has become increasingly visible in the West Bank since last month's assassination of its military chief, Imad Mughniyeh.

On Thursday, mourners marching in a funeral procession for four Palestinian militants killed in Bethlehem chanted, "Hizbullah is coming." The bodies of local Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed Shehadeh and another militant were wrapped in Hizbullah flags. Shehadeh had converted from Sunni to Shiite Islam in a show of support for Hizbullah, said his cousin, Khalil. (AP/International Herald Tribune)

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