debkafile Exclusive: The Palestinian armory has a new weapon: Jenin-1 on the West Bank joins the Qassam missile of Gaza

It may have been the IDF computer, but whoever chose the romantic name of Blue Skies for Israel’s no-go zone operation in northern Gaza to stop the firing of Qassam missiles from northern Gaza must have a fine sense of irony. Sunday, the first day of the New Year, the skies were indeed blue but the air below was clouded by four Qassam missiles launched for the first time from three Gaza Strip sectors. One missile fired from the south, near the Egyptian border, landed near Kibbutz Mivtahim; two more launched from the center exploded outside Nir Oz and a fourth fired from the no-go zone in the north blew up at the edge of Sderot. No one was hurt in this barrage.
The IDF explained that all the missiles were fired from outside the buffer belt, proving that the new tactic was successfully pushing the Palestinian terrorists south. debkafile‘s military experts see things in a different light. The Sharon government is holding Israel’s armed forces on a tight leash against taking effective action to halt the Qassam offensive. In consequence, Israel’s deterrent capability is being ground down in Palestinian eyes.
Furthermore, three weeks ago, the Palestinians were able to fire their first missile from the West Bank into Israel. It was aimed from a point north of Jenin at Moshav Adirim outside the West Bank less than 8-9 km distant. The news was held back officially and only partially released for publication Friday night Dec. 30 when media viewing is low.
debkafile‘s military sources report that the West Bank version of the Qassam was developed by the ruling Fatah al Aqsa Brigades faction in Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm, for distribution across the West Bank. These sources have no doubt that Jenin-1 will soon be followed by Jenin-2 and Jenin-3, with improved range and a more powerful blast.
The Jenin differs from the Gazan Qassam in two important respects:
1. It does not depend on Gaza-developed technology, but is a West Bank product from start to finish.
2. It is not wielded by Hamas and Jihad Islami like the Qassam but the weapon of the al Aqsa Brigades, a branch of the ruling Fatah of which Mahmoud Abbas is the titular head, along with the jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti. The first is the US-Israeli partner in dialogue; the latter heads the Fatah slate for the Jan. 25 election.
Once the Jenin missile starts flying towards Israel’s population centers, the security situation will start plunging not only around Gaza’s blue skies but also opposite the West Bank.

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