Jerusalem Targeted for Combined Palestinian-Israel Arab Assault
Yasser Arafat is mustering powerful reinforcements for his second “Al Aqsa Intifada” front whose opening in Jerusalem and Temple Mount is scheduled for the Palestinian “Day of the Catastrophe” on May 15. His agents are busy raising strength among Israeli Arabs with the help of “Palestinian Hizballah” operatives smuggled in from Lebanon for terrorist operations and working under his orders. Monday morning, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon held a special consultation with police and internal security minister Uzzi Landau and interior minister Eli Suissa on measures to meet the worst case scenario, if Arafat can pull it off.
debkafile ‘s political sources report that the discussion centered on the upsurge of armed clashes and war activity outright on the edges and around the border districts of Jerusalem in the last few days. According to the intelligence reaching Israeli ministers, Arafat intends the turmoil in Jerusalem on May 15 to spread rapidly into the heart of the Jerusalem.
debkafile‘s intelligence sources point to four disquieting developments:
A. Arafat is rounding up Hizballah agents from the Gaza Strip and posting them on the West Bank and among Israeli Arab concentrations, where they have the advantage of being unknown faces to Israeli intelligence and security. The Palestinian leader must be circumspect. Syrian president Assad objects to direct Hizballah collaboration with the Palestinian leader, insisting they work with radical Palestinian groups under the aegis of Damascus. To get round this objection, the imported Hizballah squads are partnered with the Hamas and Jihad Islami, through which Arafat orchestrates their operations.
The very presence of operational Hizballah elements among Israeli Arabs – however few – is a menacing precedent and cause of unrest.
B. While Arafat stayed away from last month’s Tehran conference in support of his intifada, represented only by Faisal Husseini, minister for Jerusalem affairs, concrete evidence of the spreading cooperation between the terrorist organizations run by Iran in the Middle east, especially in Lebanon, and the Palestinian terror machine. Intelligence reports speak of an operational directive issued by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at secret meeting of terrorist chiefs to lay stress on agitation among Israeli Arabs. This information dovetails with Arafat’s drive to plant Hizballah operatives among that population.
C. The monumental mosque under construction on Temple Mount is a prime focus of Palestinian-Israeli Arab collaboration. Arafat despatched Umm al Fahm mayor Raad Salah some weeks ago to make the rounds of the Persian Gulf and raise funds in his name to finish the vast building. Arafat thereby extended his blessing to Raad’s mosque project, which entails connecting the subterranean vaults of Temple Mount under Al Aqsa Mosque and the space known as “Solomon’s Stables” to create the largest mosque on the site.
Engineers consulted by debkafile on the feasibility of the project that is being executed as an undercover operation without Israeli supervision of any kind, expressed doubts whether the new subterranean structure would hold up the ancient century Al Aqsa Mosque building. Whatever the dangers, Arafat is determined to make May 15 a day of catastrophe in every sense; many hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arabs and West Bank Palestinians will be sent pouring into Jerusalem and Temple Mount to proclaim the dual event of the cornerstone laying of the new mosque and the opening of the intifada’s second front.
If his plan comes off, Temple Mount, the Old City of Jerusalem and the New City will suffer an epic maelstrom of mob violence, designed to spread to a fresh wave of confrontations in Israeli Arab population centers