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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)Source: http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=235883&contrassID=1&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=0 HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 strengthen the 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 our people."

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 occupation machine."

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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