Has Israel penetrated Al Aqsa Brigades?
Palestinian politicians were outraged by the Tel Aviv bombings that took place on July 11 at a very critical time for the Palestinians. The bombing came less than 48 hours after the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of the Palestinians against Israel’s erection of the West Bank separation wall.
Following the Tel Aviv blast, senior Palestinian politicians hinted that Israel may well have been behind the bombing although Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for this attack, which killed one Israeli female soldier and wounded more than 40 others.
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat was furious as he publicly commented on the bombing. Arafat accused those behind the attacks of undermining the court’s ruling.
Hatem Abdul Qadder – a prominent leader in Fatah – told Al Bawaba "the International Court of Justice's ruling was a victory for the entire Palestinian people and we cannot jeopardize it with one individual’s actions…We cannot link the fate of the Palestinian people to one emotional person.”
Abdul Qadder considered the bombing a “life jacket” thrown at Israel's PM Ariel Sharon who was put in an embarrassing situation in front of the entire world.
"The bombing is in Sharon's favor for sure. While it’s true that it has proved once again that the wall does not offer security to Israel, it is also true that it came at a very bad time because it served to distract the public opinion arming Sharon with more reason to refuse the International Court of Justice’s verdict."
Abdul Qadder, who is also an active member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, added “it is possible that the Al Aqsa Brigades may have done it themselves…however, the Brigades lack central leadership and due to the fact that its cells are scattered throughout the Palestinian land, it is possible that some cells may have been manipulated by Palestinians or Israelis who have an interest in seeing the International Court’s verdict reversed.”
"Some bombings that the [Al Aqsa] Brigades have claimed responsibility for may have been carried out by them. However, some bombings could have been done by Israel itself. We cannot say that there is Israeli penetration within the Brigades…but what I am trying to say is that any one can claim responsibility for any bombing."
"I think that the Palestinian leadership will put pressure on the [Al Aqsa] Brigades to have them stop their operations otherwise we could end up with many opportunities for [Israeli PM] Sharon to exploit in order to weaken the Palestinian position.”
For his part, Nidal – a leader at the Al Aqsa Brigades in Jenin - told Al Bawaba "We are very happy with the International Court of Justice’s ruling, but things are different when it comes to attacks…the timing is decided by the field leaders. We strongly refuse to link our activities with Palestinian political maneuvers.”
"If we were to choose the timing of every operation then many things would have been different," added Nidal.
Nidal concluded by saying that they have not encountered a single case of Israeli ‘penetration’ amongst their brigades in Jenin, yet he admitted that anything is possible.
"I still think it [Israeli penetration] is possible like in any other organization or faction. We are humans so penetration (by Israeli agents) is always a possibility," Nidal concluded. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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