Voices in Fatah calling for an end to suicide attacks inside Israel are growing stronger, and Israel's policy of house demolitions and deportations is beginning to have a deterrent impact, IDF Intelligence Chief Major General Aharon Ze'evi (Farakash) told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.
Ze'evi said that the calls for an end to suicide attacks were coming from mid-level Fatah members in the street, and that they claimed that the attacks were harmful to the Palestinians.
According to Ze'evi, members of Tanzim, the Fatah military wing, are debating whether to continue the suicide attacks, but the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades refuses any halt and is taking the Hamas position calling for continuing attacks inside Israel as well as in the territories.
Committee Chairman MK Haim Ramon called for encouraging those Palestinians calling for an end to the attacks.
The intelligence chief said that at least five terror attacks were recently prevented as a result of pressure by relatives, who feared expulsion to Gaza or demolition of their homes, on family members planning to carry out suicide attacks, Army Radio reported. Ze'evi added that the security services currently have warnings of six planned terror attacks and continued preparations for a "mega-terror" attack.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad: attacks inside Israel to continue
Senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials said Tuesday that the militant organizations would continue to carry out attacks inside Israel, while a senior official from Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement said that his group would halt all such military operations.
Senior Fatah official Hussein Al Sheikh said that the movement has decided to halt all attacks inside Israel and that he said that he expects the movement's military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, to follow suit, despite a leaflet it released to the contrary, Israel Radio reported.
"It is not part of Fatah's strategy to harm innocent people and to carry out attacks inside Israel," he said. "Our strategy is to set up a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip... on conquered lands."
Al Sheikh's comments came as the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip continued to discuss the draft paper that was drawn up by representatives of all the Palestinian political organizations, including Hamas members, which hints at a rejection of terror attacks inside Israel proper.
But Hamas leaders were making it increasingly clear Tuesday that they would not accept a cessation of attacks inside Israel. Ismail Abu-Shanab, a Hamas leader in Gaza, was quoted by the radio as saying that his movement would continue to strike inside Israel.
A senior Islamic Jihad official also said Tuesday that the militant organization would not halt attacks inside Israel. "We will continue to oppose the occupation, even if an agreement is reached on the document currently being discussed with the PA," he said.
Representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization factions who participated in drafting the paper were still hoping Monday that the Hamas leadership would eventually decide to add its signature to what has been described as a national memorandum determining national objectives and courses of action against the Israeli occupation that would be acceptable to all political groups in the territories.
According to statements by Hamas activists, it appears that the organization's leadership will not sign the document, which defines the national objective as the establishment of a state in all the areas occupied in 1967 and leaves the right to determine the means of combating the occupation in the hands of a collective national leadership still to be established.
Hamas sources said that they had many reservations about the document, despite the fact that Abu-Shanab participated in its formulation. The sources said that Hamas was not happy with the 1967 lines being the borders of a Palestinian state, with the negation of military activities inside Israel, and with the hint that political negotiations with Israel would continue.
According to Ismail Haniya, a close confidant of Hamas's spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, "There is much common ground between Hamas and the other organizations, and the intifada has reinforced this; but we are studying [the document] so as to strengthen the common points."
Haniya explicitly said, however, that Hamas supported "the establishment of a Palestinian state on all parts of the land of Palestine, without forgoing the rest and without recognizing the state of the Zionist entity."
The representatives of the various political organizations were slated Tuesday to declare their acceptance of the document, but it appears now, in light of the Hamas position, that the groups will choose to continue their talks rather than declare them a failure.
Sources in Gaza said that the Hamas leadership outside of the Strip, together with a number of the organization's more hardline leaders in Gaza, was pushing for a rejection of the document.
Looks like they will soon run out of people to send as suicide bombers and houses to live in at this pace.
Keep up the good work Sharon!
Originally Posted By EricTheHun
I think maybe you oughtta get yourself an M-16 ~ Col Hal Moore
Time comes I need one Sir, there'll be plenty of 'em lying on the ground ~ Sgt Maj Plumley