Israeli officials say they believe radical and militant Palestinian
groups Hamas and Fatah have come together to plan past and future
terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.

The new cooperative effort, which comes with the blessing of some
Palestinian Authority security personnel, is believed responsible for
terrorist attacks recently in the Gaza Strip, officials said, according
to the daily Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.

Each group, Israeli security officials believe, has contributed
specific skills and expertise to the planning of new attacks. Officials
also said yesterday they worry that the cooperative effort will
eventually produce more sophisticated and deadly attacks in Israel

“One [new] warning refers to a possible car-bomb attack within the
Dan Region,” the paper said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority released nine more members of
the Hamas organization from a prison in the Nablus region before Israeli
helicopter gunships attacked the region.

The Fatah faction is loyal to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in the month-long
conflict, which has killed 148 people, also threatens to divide Israel
from other Arab nations with which the Jewish state had previously

As the sixth anniversary last week of a peace treaty between Israel
and Jordan went unnoticed, security experts in the Mideast say the
longer the violence continues, the more pressure the Jordanian
government will be under to break ties with the Jewish state.

Since the violence began Sept. 28, reports said some of the largest
street protests in years have taken place in Amman — the capital of
Jordan — with sympathy for the Palestinians running at new highs.

In 1994, Jordan elected to become the second nation after Egypt to
sign a formal peace deal with Israel as a means to improve its weak
economy. But the new violence — and the new sympathy within its
population of 5 million, most of whom claim Palestinian descent —
threatens once again to undermine the country’s economic progress,
experts said in published reports yesterday.

“Unfortunately, since the peace treaty, our economy is retreating and
poverty and unemployment have increased,” Salameh al-Hiyari, a local
deputy from the city of Salt, told reporters from the Dawn Newspaper

Hence, experts said, deteriorating economic conditions coupled with
high anti-Israel sentiment could eventually force the Jordanian
leadership — if the conflict lasts — to reconsider its ties to Israel.

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