TEL AVIV – Even though the terror group Islamic Jihad took responsibility for yesterday’s suicide bombing in Israel that killed five civilians, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was involved in the attack, sources close to the group told WND.

A senior Al Aqsa leader, speaking exclusively to WorldNetDaily just hours after the deadly blast, confirmed his group coordinates attacks with Islamic Jihad, and warned more attacks are on their way.

A suicide bomber yesterday afternoon exploded in an open-air market in the coastal city of Hadera just north of Tel Aviv, killing five people and wounding more than 30 others. The attack was carried out in front of a falafel stand at the entrance to the market. Hadera has been a frequent target of bombings during the past five years.

Islamic Jihad immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, saying the bombing was retaliation for the death of its military leader, Luay Sa’adi, in an Israel Defense Forces raid in the West Bank earlier this week. Israel said Sa’adi had planned the deadly bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub last February as well as several other attacks.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Khader Habib told the Associated Press: “[The bombing] is a natural retaliation for the Israeli crimes committed against our people, namely the crime against Luay Sa’adi. The Islamic Jihad movement was committed to the truce, and is still committed to the truce, but this truce should be mutual. We cannot tolerate a one-sided truce.”

Abbas told reporters he condemned the Hadera attack “in the strongest possible terms.”

But sources close to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Abbas’ Fatah movement, told WND: “Al Aqsa let Islamic Jihad take full responsibility so they could get the credit for retaliating against Israel’s killing of their leaders. Jihad needs this attack. But Al Aqsa was involved, too.”

Responding to the report, Abu Carmel, a West Bank Al Aqsa leader, told WND: ” I don’t want to speak about today’s attack, but we coordinate and collaborate very often. It is true that we have excellent relations with our brothers in the Islamic Jihad. We felicitate our brothers in their heroic attacks, and we promise not to leave them alone in the campaign that Israel is leading against them.”

Islamic Jihad terrorists called by WND were not immediately available for comment.

Israeli military officials told reporters the suicide attack was planned before the IDF targeted Sa’adi on Sunday.

Said a security source: “A bomb attack of this magnitude takes longer than three days to plan. Islamic Jihad did not just think this up after Sa’adi was killed.”

Carmel responded, “Of course we can attack in such a short period. This Israeli argument wants to show to the international opinion that the Palestinians are constantly planning such attacks, no matter what is the situation and the circumstances.

“Also, this Israeli argument aims to save their security system from the criticism of the Israeli public opinion, which is once more wondering how the Palestinians succeeded in carrying out an attack in spite of all the security measures that were taken after the Sa’adi killing, and although it was known that the Palestinian resistance would respond to the Sa’adi murder.”

Any Al Aqsa involvement in yesterday’s attack would be a significant embarrassment for Abbas, who has pledged to fight terrorism and disarm the various Palestinian terror groups.

Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia announced his government’s plan to begin disarming Al Aqsa in the coming weeks by setting up training camps and incorporating its members into the Palestinian security forces.

In the first official Al Aqsa response to Qureia’s statements, Carmel told WND: “Everyone who is speaking of disarming Al Aqsa is delusional. We were created from the depth of Palestinian pain and suffering caused by the Israeli occupation. Everyone who is speaking about disarming Al Aqsa must ask and consult the graves of the martyrs and the activists who got killed in this intifada. There is one and only one way to disarm Al Aqsa, and it will happen only when the Israeli occupation is ended.”

Carmel also warned his group may carry out additional attacks in the near future.

“It is possible that as solidarity with [Islamic Jihad] and as a response to Israeli crimes, we will lead our own [independent] attack inside Israel and in the coming period we will prove our position,” said Carmel.

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