debkafile Exclusive: 200 defiant Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades terrorists threaten fresh wave of anti-Israel violence unless they are included in amnesty
They are up in arms against the deal struck by prime minister Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas a week ago to waive Israeli military pursuit of 179 wanted al Aqsa Brigades gunmen for three months, against a pledge to renounce terrorism and surrender their side arms. The 200 mutineers have informed Palestinian Authority chairman Abbas and their commanders that as long as they are subjected to IDF pursuit and detentions, they have no reason to hold back on terrorist activity against Israeli forces and civilians on the West Bank.
A group has broken away and formed the Yasser Arafat Brigades.
Israeli military sources warn that these embittered Palestinian operatives are dangerous enough to be taken seriously, especially when their comrades who took the pledge pocketed grants averaging $22,000 plus a regular wage.
The Olmert government reasoned that the temporarily pardoned terrorists would join up with the Fatah campaign to suppress Hamas on the West Bank. debkafile‘s sources report that this hope appears to have gone by the wayside. Furthermore, the pardoned terrorists are now walking about with the same guns they surrendered at the Palestinian security service last week, only to have them returned through the back door.
Therefore, Israeli military sources conclude that rather than achieving any useful purpose, the exercise was a harmful precedent. The al Aqsa Brigades members left out of the deal with Israel are convinced that an amnesty and other privileges are there to be extorted by threats of violence. In the meantime, Hamas, Jihad Islami and other rejectionist and radical terrorists are keeping their heads down and building up their weapons caches, ready to spring at the right opportunity, as they did in Gaza.