TEL AVIV – Israel is concerned that Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists are seeking to ride the current “wave of terror” and escalate attacks for their own purposes, according to Israeli security sources.
At the same time, there are indications Hamas is in the process of hijacking the “wave of terror” and has already instructed affiliated cells based in the West Bank to attempt suicide bombings in Israel, the sources said.
Until now, the latest campaign of Palestinian terror has mostly consisted of individual Palestinian assailants carrying out stabbings and shooting attacks while mobs of Palestinians, many wielding stones, Molotov cocktails and fire bombs, have been rioting in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.
According to security sources in Israel, Iran has been pressing the Tehran-financed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization to escalate attacks on Israelis, likely as a pressure tactic the Iranians can use regarding the conflict in Syria.
There is also concern about the activation of a terrorist network that the Iran-backed Hezbollah organization has been attempting to establish. The network is comprised of several cells in the West Bank with the objective of orchestrating attacks against Jews in that territory and beyond.
In August, WND was first to report the Palestinian Authority had arrested and interrogated some members of the network, which was comprised of gunmen from Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade seeking to make additional money from Hezbollah, PA security sources said at the time.
The security sources said Hezbollah sought to pay the chief of each terror cell $400 per month while each regular member would receive $100 per month in salary.
The terrorists-for-hire would get bonus funds for each attack successfully orchestrated, with the amount depending on the size and importance of the attack and the number of Jewish casualties, the sources said in August.
The terrorist network, the sources said, was the initiative of Qais Obeid, an Israeli Arab and a grandson of former Knesset member Diyab Obeid. Obeid defected to Lebanon and became a senior officer for Hezbollah. Qais Obeid was behind the 2000 kidnapping of Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was held by Hezbollah until a prisoner swap with Israel in January 2004.
Meanwhile, confirming information first reported by Israel’s Ynetnews website, Israeli security sources said there is information Hamas is seeking to take the initiative on the “wave of terror” and has instructed cells near Jerusalem to attempt suicide bombings as soon as such attacks become operationally possible.
Ynetnews quoted a Palestinian security official saying the PA recently clamped down on a Hamas terrorist cell in Hebron, confiscating money and explosive devices.
And Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader based in Gaza, urged Palestinians to utilize guns and explosives against Israelis and turn the “wave of terror” into an armed conflict.
At a sermon last Friday, Hamas senior Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh urged the “strengthening and increasing of the intifada,” declaring that so-called armed resistance was the “only path that will lead to liberation.”