PA says it has no connection with Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Arnon Regular, Ha´aretz Correspondent 11/28/02 22:55)
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For the first time since the start of the intifada, the Palestinian
Authority issued a vehement statement denying any connection "between
the Fatah movement and its institutions" and the armed wing of Fatah,
the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The group claimed responsibility for
Thursday´s attack in Beit Shean, which, they said, was in retaliation
for the death of two terror leaders in Jenin earlier this week.
"The Palestinian leadership condemns the attack on Beit Shean and the
attacks against Israeli civilians in general," according to the PA
statement. "These attacks do not serve the just cause of the
Palestinian people but cause us great damage on every level and
warmongers and settlements of Israel."
The statement came after the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades called news
agencies and claimed responsibility for the Beit Shean attack. The
group said that the two attackers were Omer and Youssuf Abu Roub from
the village of Jaloun, on the Gilboa mountain range just beyond the
Green and west of Beit Shean.
The PA issued a second, equally unprecedented statement condemning
attacks conducted by other armed Palestinian groups. In what sounded
like an act of contrition, the PA statement condemned the Islamic
Jihad´s attempt to ram an explosives-laden boat into an Israeli Navy
patrol boat last weekend, and a Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine suicide bombing attempt on Israel´s District Coordination
Offices (DCO) at the Erez Junction in Gaza early Wednesday.
"We are now sowing unexpected fruits because we allowed things to get
out of control," said the statement. "Every organization and group
are replacing the fruits we hoped for with actions that harm the
future of the coming generations. We will not allow anyone to impose
his view on the silent majority of the Palestinian people through
arbitrary actions that do not achieve a thing and cause great harm to
The announcement said the PA "does not understand the wisdom" of such
actions, which have "no meaning according to any parameter." It
called the attack on the patrol boat a "suicide action", rather "a
martyrs´ death," saying it was a "a childish action that gave Israel
an excuse to close the sea to thousands of fishermen."
The attack on Erez Junction was also described as "politically
childish... What point is there to a daylight operation that doesn´t
have a chance of reaching the Israeli side, and only damages the
Palestinian offices" at the District Coordination Offices.
But the same PA announcement praised the ambush two weeks ago in
Hebron of an army patrol guarding Kiryat Arba residents on their way
home from prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarch, calling the attack,
in which nine soldiers and three security guards from Kiryat Arba
were killed, "a well thought out action against the Israeli war and
According to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade announcement, Thursday´s
attack was in retaliation for what the group called the assassination
of Ala Al-Sabar, the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade from
the Jenin refugee camp, and Imad Nashrati, the commander of Hamas´ Al-
Qassam Brigades in north Samaria on Wednesday night.
The IDF has denied it had anything to do with the deaths, suggesting
the two were killed in a "work accident" when a bomb exploded.
(© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 11/28/02)
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