TEL AVIV – A foiled suicide bombing today reportedly meant to target Tel Aviv within 24 hours was orchestrated by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the so-called military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization, top Brigades leaders told WND.
Nearly 200 Brigades leaders were granted amnesty in July by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert after the terrorists pledged to refrain from attacking the Jewish state.
Earlier today, Israeli border police detained a youth near the West Bank city of Nablus, the biblical Shechem, who was carrying concealed explosive devices the Israeli Defense Forces said were meant for detonation in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing.
The Border Police detonated the devices in a controlled explosion and transferred the youth for interrogation.
Top leaders from Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, speaking on condition their names be withheld since they were granted amnesty, told WND their group was responsible for today’s foiled bombing.
They said the detained boy was meant to transfer the explosive devices to a Brigades operative in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the explosives would be properly assembled and handed to a suicide bomber to infiltrate Tel Aviv.
The Brigades leaders claimed the attack was planned mostly by members of their organization who did not receive amnesty from Olmert in June, but they said one “lower-level operative” who is up for amnesty consideration was involved in today’s foiled attack.
In a gesture to Abbas, Olmert last month granted amnesty to 178 West Bank-based members of the Brigades, which took responsibility along with the Islamic Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel in the past two years.
Israel issued documents for the 178 Fatah fugitives to sign, pledging their resignation from any so-called paramilitary organizations. The wanted militants – who comprise much of the senior Brigades leadership – also were required to turn in their weapons, spend a week in a PA holding area and restrict their movements to the area in which they reside for three months. After that, they would be allowed to move freely throughout the West Bank.
In spite of the amnesty deal, Brigades members, including those taken off Israel’s wanted list, have been carrying out attacks in recent weeks, security sources said.
Two weeks ago, a Brigades gunman fired at Israeli soldiers at the Hawara checkpoint outside Nablus.
Brigades sources said group members perpetuated “dozens” of shootings against Israeli forces since last month. Over the weekend, the Israeli Defense Forces searched the house of a Brigades gunman who was accused of carrying out recent shooting attacks, security sources said.
Ayad Frehat, a Brigades leader in the West Bank city of Jenin, told WND last week his group in the West Bank would not disarm or cease attacks on the Jewish state in spite of an amnesty.
“We respect our leaders but will keep fighting until Israel withdraws completely from the West Bank. We are the resistance. We will keep fighting and never give up our weapons until Israel withdraws,” said Frehat.
“Whenever the Israeli army acts in the West Bank, we will fight side-by-side with our brothers from the other resistance movements,” Frehat said.
Last month, WND broke the story how Israel captured an armed Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member who was smuggling bullets from Jenin to Nablus, but let him go after it was determined he was on a list of wanted gunmen granted amnesty by Olmert.
WND also reported last week that Olmert was considering granting amnesty to hundreds of other Brigades gunmen and allowed the return to Bethlehem of 26 Brigades leaders who were exiled after seizing the city’s Church of the Nativity in 2002. The Nativity church is the believed birthplace of Jesus.
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