Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport
JERUSALEM – If the Jewish state significantly increases its campaign against Hezbollah, such as sending ground troops into Lebanon, Palestinian terror groups will open a “third front” against Israel by carrying out large-scale attacks inside the country “much bigger” than suicide bombings, Abu Nasser, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview today.
Abu Nasser said his group has been working for more than a year on contingency plans to escalate violence in Israel should the Jewish state attack Iran, Syria or Lebanon. He hinted the Al Aqsa Brigades obtained anti-aircraft missiles, which the group could use to target Tel Aviv International Airport.
“For the moment we see that Hezbollah is winning, but if – Allah forbid – there is a turnover in the war, we will not hesitate to carry out the plans we have been working on since [the cease-fire signed last February]. We will use rockets. We will target Tel Aviv airport. We will not abandon our brothers,” said Abu Nasser, speaking to WND from Nablus in northern Samaria.
The Judea and Samaria territories also are commonly referred to as the West Bank.
The Al Aqsa Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, is responsible for scores of rocket and shooting attacks, and – together with Islamic Jihad – for every suicide bombing since last February’s cease-fire. Security officials say Al Aqsa regularly coordinates attacks with Hezbollah officials, who funnel money to group leaders.
Abu Nasser indicated his group works closely with Hezbollah.
“We do not forget that Hezbollah was the first to help us in this Intifada,” said Abu Nasser. “It is normal that they expect us to act here inside Palestine in order to help them in the ugly war the Nazi-Zionist enemy is carrying out against them. We do not need to receive instructions from Hezbollah but we understand from our connections with them that carrying attacks inside Palestine can be very helpful for them. As Muslims we need and we must help our brothers.”
The terror leader said his group is “following the fights [in Lebanon] and we are taking all the necessary measures in order to strike [Israel] when the convenient moment comes.”
Asked to detail the kinds of attacks the Al Aqsa Brigades and other Palestinian groups will carry out if they feel Hezbollah is “losing” in Lebanon, Abu Nasser replied, “Tel Aviv airport can be targeted. I will not say what rockets and missiles we have, but I can say that we have all that is necessary.”
Abu Nasser’s terror cell is mostly concentrated in northern Samaria, which, at points, runs alongside the international airport here. While Israeli defense officials have confirmed Palestinian groups smuggled anti-aircraft missiles into the Gaza Strip on the other side of the country, security sources here say officially Palestinian groups in Judea and Samaria don’t possess such missiles.
There have been reports, however, terror groups in northern Samaria obtained some advanced missiles. WND has learned of at least one security alert last year that involved a possible Palestinian attack using an anti-aircraft missile from northern Samaria.
Israel’s Maariv daily reported last April the country’s Shin Bet Security Services revealed at a high-level security meeting Bedouins from Egypt and Israel’s Negev desert have succeeded in smuggling anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to Judea and Samaria terrorists. The Egypt-Negev border is a known soft spot in security here. Israel regularly catches weapons smugglers and illegal immigrants attempting to infiltrate the country.
A senior Israeli intelligence source said, at the moment, he estimates the Al Aqsa Brigades and other terror groups will attempt to strike inside Israel with suicide bombings. He said while there is a fear of escalated attacks in the country if Israel sends ground troops into Lebanon, he doesn’t think Palestinian groups will be ordered to carry out larger-scale attacks during this confrontation.
Israel has nabbed two suicide bombers in recent days on their way to carry out attacks in central Israel, including a bomber from the Al Aqsa Brigades yesterday on his way to the Sharon region of the country.
Abu Nasser said of yesterday’s bombing attempt, “The Israelis arrested one of our brothers who was supposed to present a gift to our brothers in Lebanon, a suicide attack with big numbers of Israelis killed. Yesterday’s attempt failed, but we swear we will keep trying.”
Officials today hinted the Jewish state might send large numbers of ground troops into Lebanon.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said “Hezbollah must not think that we would recoil from using all kinds of military measures against it. We have no intention of occupying Lebanon, but we also have no intention of retreating from any military measures needed.”
While Abu Nasser warned today against a ground invasion of Lebanon, he told WND his group’s fiercest response may be reserved for any future confrontation between Israel and Iran or Syria.
“[If Israel attacks Iran or Syria] we will hit with all the weapons and tools we have,” the terrorist leader said. “Since the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 60s, one of our goals has been to turn this conflict into a real Arab-Israeli confrontation. We believe that this moment in becoming very close.”
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