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'Peace partner' accused of working with al-Qaida allies

TEL AVIV – Groups tied to the Palestinian Authority are responsible for recent rocket-fire from the Gaza Strip aimed at nearby Jewish communities, WND has learned.

Further, the PA-tied groups have been working with Gaza-based Islamist organizations that promote the ideology of al-Qaida, according to Palestinian security sources.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been widely blamed for the rocket attacks, including the Qassam rocket attack last week that killed a foreign worker in Israel’s northern Negev.

U.S. and Israeli policy regards the PA as a peace partner for Israel. The Obama administration is seeking to commence indirect negotiations between the PA and Israel aimed at creating a PA-led state.

Sources close to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the PA’s official military wing, told WND about 90 percent of the recent rocket-fire from Gaza was launched by cells of the Ayman Judah Brigades, an offshoot of the Al Aqsa Brigades.

Hamas officials said their own investigation into the rocket-firings confirmed this scenario.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas chief in Gaza, told WND in a phone interview yesterday the groups responsible for the rocket attacks “work under many names. We are investigating these groups in order to know what is the real background of these groups. Many seem tied to Fatah.”

The Israel Air Force attacked a smuggling tunnel in Gaza Monday after a Qassam rocket fired by Palestinians from the territory struck an open field in a Jewish community near the southern city of Ashkelon a day earlier. Four rockets were fired at communities in the Negev over the weekend, after 12 rockets and mortar shells hit the area over the course of last week.

Palestinian security officials in Gaza told WND that Hamas has been working overtime to stop the rocket-fire from Gaza for fear the attacks could prompt a large-scale Israeli response in the territory.

The security officials pointed to Arabic announcements last weekend in which al-Zahar personally barred any group in Gaza from firing rockets from the territory for the time being. Al-Zahar has been taking heat from the greater Arab media for his declarations.

According to sources in Hamas, the Fatah groups allegedly responsible for the rocket-fire have been working with Islamist organizations in Gaza allied with al-Qaida. The sources charged the PA is seeking to agitate an Israeli raid of Gaza in hope of minimizing its Hamas rival’s control of the coastal territory.

This is not the first time Israel’s so-called peace partner has been accused of working with al-Qaida allies.

WND reported last August the PA provided financial support and, in at least one case, an official salary to al-Qaida allies in the Gaza Strip, according to information obtained by WND.


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