Following is a WorldNetDaily exclusive interview with Abu Oudai, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group responsible for coordinating the organization’s rocket network in the West Bank.
The Brigades is the military wing of the ruling Fatah party and is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The group is particularly active in the West Bank, where Israel fears Palestinian terror organizations are stockpiling rockets with plans to shoot the deadly weapons at major Israeli cities in the near future.
With Arabic-English translation by Ali Waked.
WND: Hundreds of rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip the past few years by Palestinian terror groups, aimed at nearby Jewish farming communities. After Israel carried out its Gaza withdrawal this past summer, there has been information the Palestinian groups are now stockpiling rockets in the West Bank, which is within reach of Israel’s major population centers, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in addition to the 200,000 or so Jews who live within the West Bank. Israel says a primitive rocket – the first ever from the West Bank – was launched by your group in Jenin three weeks ago. What kind of rocket capabilities do you currently have in the West Bank?
OUDAI: First I want to say that three weeks ago was not the first time we shot rockets from Jenin to the settlements of the Israeli enemy. It is the enemy who for the first time admitted that these rockets exist in the West Bank and that they were shot against Israeli targets. Israel published about that rocket after they realized the shooting of rockets is taking place repeatedly in the West Bank.
We believe that for the moment our capacities are very good and are permanently improving. We can reach any point inside Israel, but I will not mention what are the regions we are ready to shoot from.
WND: How many rockets has your group launched so far from the West Bank? And what are your plans in the near future as far as the regularity of launching.
OUDAI: We have launched six times and with the help of Allah we will launch these rockets regularly. There will be no calm, no ceasefire until the occupation leaves our land. I don’t need to tell you that the aerial distance from Jenin to Netanya, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities is not big without telling you what are all our plans concerning other parts of the West Bank.
WND: Are the rockets manufactured inside the West Bank or smuggled over from Gaza? Israel says most are made in the area and not smuggled after the Gaza withdrawal.
OUDAI: The rockets were transported from outside the West Bank. I am not surprised that the Israeli army claims differently because it is not the first time that it denies the real capacity of the Palestinian resistance. Do not forget that their arrival is a new failure of the Israeli army. With the help of Allah we succeeded to bring these rockets inside the West Bank. But it is true that we are working also on producing these rockets inside the West Bank.
Concerning what the Israeli army said about the rockets being primitive, the very near future will prove their capacity to kill and destroy and to beat the Israelis in the West Bank exactly like we did with these rockets in the Gaza Strip.
WND: Which West Bank towns can you currently strike with your rockets? Right now, can you reach Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?
OUDAI: We will reach every point where there is Israeli occupation on our land. We will shoot these rockets as long as Israeli tanks and aircraft are killing our people and yes this includes Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but don’t ask me where we shall shoot from next.
WND: When you talk about “our land,” are you referring to the West Bank, or do you mean you will try to drive the Jews from all of Israel with your rockets?
OUDAI: Of course the whole thing [all of what you call Israel] is part of Palestine and we’ll never give it up.
WND: Are your West Bank rockets the same as the Qassam rockets in Gaza that can go about three miles? I have heard about a new rocket, the Jenin-1.
OUDAI: For security reasons and for the safety of this process of transferring rockets from outside and the process of producing them I cannot give details. I can say that for the moment we have two series of rockets – Jenin and 2 and Arafat-1 and 2. The Jenin distance is 3.5 kilometers to 5 kilometers; Jenin 2 is 6 kilometers.
As for our Arafat rockets, I cannot give at this moment much details. All I can say is they will be very much improved in comparison with any other rocket of the Palestinian resistance. The Arafat rockets will prove two things: First, that they can reach every goal we want all over the enemy state. Secondly, it will prove to the Israelis that Arafat’s spirit is still alive and that he is continuing to fight the Israelis and to hit them even after his disappearing.
WND: Your group and other terror organizations have credited Israel’s security fence with frustrating your ability to carry out suicide bombings, basically because now you cannot get in to carry out the bombings. I assume the fence has no impact whatsoever on your ability to launch rockets.
OUDAI: Correct. An important goal of the rockets is to tell the Israelis that you have built a huge wall on which you spent billions of dollars but still we are hitting you with our rockets and reaching every target we want. This wall will not defend you from our rockets which have defeated your wall and all the security measures you have taken to prevent our attacks.
WND: Will the rockets replace suicide bombings, as some of Hamas’ own published studies have predicted?
OUDAI: No, not at all. But the rockets give the Palestinian resistance more options in its struggle.
WND: Israel has threatened an unprecedented military response to rocket launchings from the West Bank. Do you take this threat into consideration?
OUDAI: So far Israel has used all its tools, tanks, aircraft, assassinations, everything it can use and we are still here and still fighting. We do not get excited from these Israeli threats. What can be this unprecedented reaction? They have already tried everything.