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JERUSALEM – Four terror groups here, including militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, which the U.S. considers moderate, warned today America is now officially a target for attacks both in the region and abroad.
The terror groups blamed the U.S. for “attacking Muslim land” in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, and for providing support to the Israeli Defense Forces, which last week accidentally hit a residential area with artillery fire while trying to stop rockets from being launched from the northern Gaza Strip into nearby Jewish communities.
Several Palestinian terror leaders in Gaza told WND their organizations will soon lead attacks against U.S. interests.
“We call upon all mujahedeen in Palestine and around the world to start hitting Americans without mercy. The Americans are destroying Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and are bombarding our Muslim land,” read a statement signed by Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees, the Fatah-affiliated Abu Rish Brigades, and a new group calling itself the Brigades of the Believers.
“The Americans seem not to understand any language but that of blood and violence. We say the Americans have an artificial culture. It is a country that doesn’t respect the blood of innocents. Americans only take into consideration the blood of the Jews,” read the statement obtained by WND.
The statement went on to blast the U.S. for vetoing a draft U.N. resolution yesterday condemning an ongoing Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The resolution demanded Israeli troops pull out of the territory.
The IDF stepped up operations in Gaza last month following reports hundreds of tons of weapons, including advanced missiles were smuggled into the territory. Since Israel withdrew from Gaza last summer, Palestinian groups there have been regularly firing rockets into neighboring Jewish communities.
The Israeli army last week used artillery shells to target a site in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip from which Qassam rockets were fired at a nearby, populated Jewish city. The Israeli shells strayed and hit a residential area about a third of a mile from the targeted zone, killing 19 Palestinians. IDF sources said the army was investigating if the wrong coordinates were fed to the artillery unit and whether the error was human or technical.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni expressed regret for the deaths, saying Israel did not set out to harm innocent civilians.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologized for the Palestinian deaths and called for immediate peace talks with Abbas, stating the Palestinian leader “will be surprised at how far I am willing to go.”
Olmert said he is willing to free “many, many Palestinian prisoners.”
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said yesterday the U.S. was “disturbed” by the Arab-backed draft resolution concerning Israel’s Gaza raid, calling the draft “biased against Israel and politically motivated”.
“This resolution does not display an evenhanded characterization of the recent events in Gaza, nor does it advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace,” Bolton said.
‘Americans will very soon be subjected to our plans’
Meanwhile Palestinian terror groups said their organizations will lead attacks against the U.S.
Abu Ahmed, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in Gaza, told WND, “We asked the Palestinian people and the mujahedeen to target Americans. American targets will very soon be subjected to our military plans inside Israel and the territories. We are still deciding whether to only target U.S. interests in Palestine or also abroad.”
Abu Ahmed said some cells of the Al Aqsa Brigades don’t support the call to target Americans, but the majority of the Brigades agree the U.S. should be attacked.
“Most members (of the Brigades) will participate in attacks within Israel and the territories even if some members of our organization don’t like this new development (of targeting Americans),” Abu Ahmed said.
The Al Aqsa Brigades is the declared “military wing” of Abbas’ Fatah party. Abu Ahmed is a member of Fatah, which the U.S. largely considers moderate. The U.S. has provided large sums of aid, weaponry and advanced military training to Fatah militants.
Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella of major Palestinian terror groups, told WND his group would target Americans anywhere, including abroad.
“We will reach Americans either inside or outside. We will not hesitate to target the U.S.,” Abu Abir said.
The Committees spokesman claimed the U.S. was using Israel to test weapons on Palestinian civilians.
“We have proof of American involvement in Beit Hanoun last week. Every weapon the Americans create, they first give to the Israelis to examine on innocent Palestinian civilians. The U.S. will pay a price for this,” Abu Abir said.
The Committees previously attacked U.S. interests here. In 2003, it bombed an American convoy in Gaza, killing three U.S. contractors.
Abu Abir’s comments followed a statement last week by Hamas also blaming the U.S. for Palestinian deaths. The statement warned of upcoming Hamas attacks against the U.S. and urged Arabs and Muslims to “teach the American enemy merciless lessons they will not forget.”