Following is an exclusive interview with Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella organization consisting of several Palestinian terror groups. The Committees is responsible for firing over 500 rockets at Jewish towns in and near the Gaza Strip the past five years.
Earlier this week, Israel thwarted a mortar attack against a Jerusalem neighborhood planned by the Committees. The terror group has warned it transferred missiles from Gaza to the West Bank – which borders Israel’s major cities – and is preparing a rocket war against the Jewish state.
Arabic-English translation by Ali Waked.
WND: Israel this week revealed your terror group transferred rocket launchers and mortar shells to Bethlehem, which borders Jerusalem, and that your plan was to fire the mortars into the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Jerusalem has previously been the scene of suicide bombings and shooting attacks, but Palestinian rockets have never been fired at the city. Any projectile fired against Jerusalem would be a massive escalation in Palestinian terrorism and likely would have far-reaching economic consequences for the Jewish state. The Committees is known to have an extensive rocket network in certain West Bank villages. Is your group planning more rocket attacks against Jerusalem or other major Israeli cities bordering the West Bank?
ABU ABIR: I am not going to give you these details, but we are planning to be present all around the West Bank. Every Israeli target is a legitimate target. Wherever there is an Israeli soldier or settler they will find our rockets. Jerusalem, Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv and every Israeli point can be part of our goals. Whenever it is needed, rockets will be fired against every Israeli settlement, city or neighborhood. We know that Israeli central cities are more sensitive targets and they contain more sensitive targets, but we will not hesitate to fire rockets everywhere against the Zionist enemy.
WND: Israel has warned after its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip the Committees transferred its rockets to the West Bank. What stage is your group currently in with regard to its rocket transfer to the area? Do you have a network there capable of regularly firing at nearby Jewish neighborhoods?
ABU ABIR: We have succeeded with the help of Allah to start our plan to transfer rocket technology to the West Bank. I can tell you the rocket cell from our group that Israel recently arrested in Bethlehem was not the only one to act in the West Bank. The bases for rocket networks and technology are already installed in the West Bank, and their operational capacities should be ready in full in the next few months. Israelis should wait for a revolution very soon.
WND: There are different kinds of Palestinian rockets, some of which can travel farther than others. Talk a little about your rocket capabilities in the West Bank, and whether the rockets can reach the major Israeli cities bordering the area, like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
ABU ABIR: We are speaking about Nasser rockets with medium distance that hold normal and not primitive explosives. As I told you, the enemy should wait to see our rockets in action. We have invested very much these last few months in improving our rockets and thanks to Allah their distance, accuracy and their hurting capacity has improved. We call on (Israel’s Shin Bet Security chief Yuval) Diskin (who oversaw the arrest of our rocket network in Bethlehem announced this week) and tell him not to be so happy and proud. There is much more to come. The lives of Israeli citizens will turn to hell very soon.
WND: Senior terror leaders told WorldNetDaily last week now that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his administration will seek an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, terrorism against Israel must be stepped up “to prove we are chasing out the Israelis like we did in Gaza.” Will your group bombard West Bank Jewish communities with rockets to make it look like you’re responsible for any Israeli withdrawal from the territory?
ABU ABIR: Any withdrawal will be accompanied by rockets, shootings and other resistance attacks. We want to prove to the world that the Israelis do not understand any language other than the language of force. … I think that in any case we will increase our rocket shootings in the West Bank and against other Israeli targets because we believe that the same way our rockets and guns had obliged Israel to withdraw from Gaza, they will also oblige them to withdraw from the other parts of Palestine, and we are speaking about all Palestine.
WND: So you are saying your group will use rockets to drive the Jews from the entire state of Israel? Because sometimes Palestinian leaders talk about creating a state in Gaza, the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
ABU ABIR: We are fighting for the liberation of Palestine. All of Palestine. There is no place for a Jewish state, for Israel on our land. We will continue shooting and fighting the Israelis until they leave Palestine. We will not leave anything of the Jews behind, not even their graves and their bones.
I supposed there might be some in the Western world, like in America and Europe, who will not like what I am saying. I tell them if you don’t like what I say I don’t care, and if you feel mercy and sorrow toward the Israelis take them out of our lands and give them a state on your lands. If you are so committed to an Israeli state then why don’t you help the Jews to build their state in the United States or elsewhere in the West. As for us, we will continue to fight until we succeed to chase out the Jews, and here I believe that our rockets and other resistance operations will play an important role as they have done in getting them out of the Gaza Strip.
WND: Does Hamas’ recent election to power influence your group’s plans to attack? Will the Popular Resistance Committees halt attacks if asked to by Hamas?
ABU ABIR: Hamas will never ask us to stop the resistance. Hamas was elected, and we support Hamas because of its view regarding the resistance. Hamas and us are coordinated and agree that the West Bank territories are occupied and that we have the full right to lead resistance operations against the Israeli enemy.
Therefore, I don’t see any problem with the Hamas because (Hamas leader) Khaled Meshaal himself said that Hamas will never recognize Israel and that the resistance will continue until the liberation of Palestine.
WND: Israel has threatened massive retaliation against any rocket launched from the West Bank. Aren’t you afraid your rockets will bring devastation to the Palestinian people?
ABU ABIR: We are not afraid. I tell Diskin and the Israeli leaders that their threats have no effect, and just because this time Diskin’s guys succeeded to put their hands on our brothers, there are many cells waiting for their instructions and for the accomplishments of the transfer of the technology of rockets and the war we will launch that will oblige Israel to withdraw from everything like they have done in Gaza. The same way we won in Gaza we will win this time also with the help of Allah.