Evidence is mounting that the extremist Tanzim wing of the Palestinian Fatah is complicit in the Hamas onslaught of terror in Judea and Samaria, which has claimed 5 Israeli lives and injured 12 in Judea and Samaria in recent weeks. This is reported by, DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources.
The clincher was the discovery of the Barkan killer, who had evaded capture for five weeks, in the Askar refugee camp of Nablus – only after Israel’s security forces caught up with another terrorist who was linked to the Dec. 9 Ofra shooting at the Sudra village in the Ramallah district. A four-day old infant died after that attack in which 7 people were injured.
Ramallah is the seat of the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority and the movement’s institutions. It is increasingly evident that Tanzim, Fatah’s armed wing, which was mostly dormant after the second intifada (Palestinian uprising) of 2000-2002 was defeated, is extending clandestine support to the Hamas network terrorizing Judea and Samaria in recent weeks. The latest outrage occurred on Thursday, when a Palestinian gunman murdered two IDF soldiers and injured a third soldier and a young woman at the Asaf Hill junction near Bethel.
According to our sources, Tanzim as a body has not pitched in with support for Hamas, only an armed faction, which recently set itself up as a paramilitary force called the “Amoudi Martyr’s Brigades.” Its founding members are mostly intifada veterans.
There are six pointers to its collusion with Hamas:
- The Hamas network’s focus on Ramallah, where it feels it can safely operate under the noses of the Palestinian Authority and its security and intelligence agencies.
- The new modus operandi of Hamas attacks. At the Ofra and Asaf Hill junctions, the terrorists used vehicles for shooting and a fast getaway, a method identified with Tanzim. It was first put into practice on Jan. 9, when a joint Hamas-Tanzim squad murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevah outside his home.
- The terrorists’ ability to evade capture for unusually long periods is down to Tanzim aid in providing safe hideouts with the active complicity of more and more segments of the Palestinian population, which hitherto had little sympathy for Hamas.
- The Fatah-Tanzim has ordered its following in the population to aid Hamas by raising sudden road obstructions to hamper Israeli military movements, staging spontaneous riots, erasing video tapes recording attacks and the presence of fugitive terrorists and giving them food.
- The give-and-take of information between Israeli and the Palestinian Authority’s security services for maintain the peace has declined in recent weeks.This is due partly to the latter’s awareness of its own Tanzim’s support for Hamas’ activities and partly to its informants drying up.
- On Thursday, Dec. 13, Tanzim decided to go public with its backing for Hamas, by openly lauding the terrorists killed on Wednesday as “Palestinian heroes” and calling on the Palestinian masses to mark the anniversary of the founding of Hamas on Friday, Dec. 14 with popular demonstrations. These are intended to replicate the “rallies” Hamas mounted on the Gaza border for the past eight months.
According to the informationreaching DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources, Tanzim’s proactive backing for Hamas is not just directed against Israel. It is part of a political campaign conducted by Tanzim’s leader Mahmoud al-Aloul, who was elected deputy chairman of the Palestinian Authority and is a member of the Fatah central committee since 2009. He is bidding to succeed Mahmoud Abbas when he retires. To support his run for office, he has been preparing a third intifada.
Earlier this year, Israel warned Al-Aloul that if he did not drop this plan, the clandestine terrorist cells he was building would be wiped out. However, Israel made no move against him or Tanzim since then. Therefore, the mass demonstrations Tanzim and Hamas have called for this Friday in all parts of Judea and Samaria will offer resounding proof that they are hand in glove for terror. Israel is confronted with a major security challenge in the weeks and months to come.