debkafile Exclusive: Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah terror cells in Gaza are responsible for every third missile and second mortar shell fired at Israel

The Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Gaza Strip takes its orders directly from the movement’s leader, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, with whom Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is holding “peace talks” under US sponsorship. The meet again Tuesday, Jan. 7, the day before President George W. Bush’s arrival.
The disclosure that Fatah’s al Aqsa Brigades is responsible for 32 percent of the Qassam missiles fired against Israeli communities from Gaza and more than 40 percent of the mortar rounds is contained in an internal report the Israeli military command has submitted to the prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak. It is also reported in internal Hamas’ military arm documents, which have reached debkafile‘s military sources.
These documents demonstrate that Fatah operates independently of the Hamas political and military command in Gaza and takes its orders from Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s security chiefs. Abbas’ Fatah’s regression to full-scale terrorism appears to be motivated by fear of losing all credibility on the Palestinian street to the extremist Hamas.
Israeli government officials are hushing up this information so as not to upset the Olmert-Abbas diplomatic track and showing up the US-promoted Annapolis initiative as dead-ended. The official Israeli version therefore pins responsibility for the daily attacks on Sderot and the towns and villages within range of Gaza on Hamas, Jihad Islami and the Population Resistance Committees and omits mention of Fatah’s involvement.
The hush also extends to Shin Bet’s findings on the truth about the PA’s purported campaign to suppress terror on the West Bank. Spinning the revolving door, Palestinian security agencies round up Hamas terrorist suspects and political figures only to release them two or three days later. The weapons they say they impound from Hamas operatives are by and large old and rusty or hunting rifles, which may be carried openly. But the operational weapons caches and stocks of explosives are left untouched – and unreported to the Israeli officers in the joint liaison bodies.
The Hamas documents viewed by debkafile‘s military sources indicate that this fundamental Islamic group, which evicted the Fatah-dominated PA from Gaza six months ago, now fears that in a fresh factional clash, Fatah will turn its missiles and mortars away from Israel and against Hamas targets.
Senior Israeli officers in the southern command report that PA security agencies own at least 40 percent of the explosives and materials for making missiles smuggled into Gaza via Sinai. These agencies operate on three levels:
1. Fatah purchasing agents working out of Sinai buy explosives from various smuggling rings, including those employed by Iran and al Qaeda.
2. A well-organized smuggling conduit from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip run by Israeli Negev Bedouin tribes brings weapons and explosives via Israel and the Sinai smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip.
3. Palestinian Authority agents rent smuggling tunnels in northern Sinai from their owners, exactly like Hamas.

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