Shin Bet foils Palestinian Fatah faction plot to assassinate Olmert on way to Jericho talks with Abbas. Israel lodges strong protest with PA

This first Palestinian conspiracy to kill an Israeli prime minister was directed at his June meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho. The Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin reported to the cabinet in Jerusalem Sun. Oct. 21, that five Fatah-Al Aqsa terrorists plotted to shoot up the Israeli convoy bringing prime minister for talks as it entered the West Bank town, which is under full Palestinian security control.
Israel caught two of the five would-be assassins and, acting on Shin Bet information, Palestinian officers arrested three.
However, last week, they released the detainees – all of them on the payroll either of Abbas’ US-subsidized Force 17 presidential guard or Tawfiq Tirawi’s General intelligence – in time for the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s visit.
Israel has submitted a strong protest to the Palestinian government in Ramallah. Its actions are taken as a demonstrative refusal by the Palestinian government headed by Abbas to combat Palestinian terror, even when it targets his most active partner in the peace process.
Some political sources claim that the conspiracy was revealed to the US Secretary to support Olmert’s sense that, in these circumstances, the US-promoted conference in Annapolis would be futile.
debkafile‘s military and counter-terror sources revealed earlier this month that the accord which led Israel to grant Fatah terrorists amnesty from pursuit in return for their laying down arms and renouncing terror was never honored by Fatah – this, despite that fact that the concession was a personal gesture from Olmert to Abbas for the sake of keeping negotiations afloat.
In a counter-terror operation in Nablus last Tuesday, Oct. 16, an Israeli military-Shin Bet force killed the local al Aqsa Brigades leader nicknamed “Qaddafi” who with his brother – both on the amnesty list – were actively planning a string of suicide attacks inside Israel. Our sources add that “Qaddafi” was one of the ringleaders of the plot to assassinate the Israeli prime minister.

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