Jerusalem – Senior intelligence officials in Egypt and Jordan have warned the Israeli media that terrorists from al-Qaida are directing the bloody battles in the Gaza Strip. They say that al-Qaida was behind the violation of the Mecca agreement, which led to the establishment of the Palestinian national unity government. Al-Qaida, they say, prompted the renewal of the lethal clashes between Hamas and Fatah and the Gaza Strip’s devolvement into “Gazastan”
Concurrent with the summit meeting that was held yesterday between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah, the directors of Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence met yesterday in Cairo, General Omar Suleiman and General Mohammed Dahabi respectively.
The directors of the Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence services said after their meeting hat they were afraid that the bloody clashes in the Gaza Strip might spill over into neighboring countries, such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The intelligence directors believe that it was al-Qaida that gave the orders to open fire at Prime Minister Ismail Haniya’s house.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said last night that the countries of the West needed to act quickly to change the situation in the Gaza Strip and that they needed to consider seriously the possibility of dispatching a multi-national force, akin to UNIFIL, to the Philadelphi Road which separates between Gaza and Egypt, in order to stop the weapons being stockpiled by “the extremists,” in Olmert’s words.
In a meeting with the Dutch foreign minister, Maxim Verhagen, Prime Minister Olmert said that Jerusalem was troubled by the rising tide of arms smuggling to Hamas in the course of its clashes with Fatah and from the inability that has been shown by the pragmatic forces in the Palestinian Authority to do anything against the radical forces.
“If the Gaza Strip falls with finality to Hamas, that is going to have regional implications,” said the prime minister. “Israel is defending and will defend itself and its citizens from any aggression by terrorist organizations in keeping with its needs. We will not be able to enter the Gaza Strip in order to fight the war of the pragmatic forces against the extremists.”
Olmert’s appeal for troops was dispatched to the U.N., the EU and to more than 40 countries. Not one nation answered him affirmatively about sending troops to Gaza.
Meanwhile, in a powerful speech today before the U.N. Human Rights Council that followed an address by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Canadian parliamentarian and former justice minister Irwin Cotler made public for the first time that he had rejected an offer to join Tutu in his U.N. investigative mission to Gaza. The internationally-acclaimed human rights activist and former counsel to dissidents Nelson Mandela and Andrei Sakharov told the plenary that Council President Luis de Alba had invited him in November 2006 to join Tutu in a Council inquiry into Israel’s “willful killing of civilians” in Beit Hanoun, but turned it down because the mandate violated “the fundamental principles of due process” by ignoring Palestinian rocket attacks launched from Beit Hanoun on Israeli cities and kibbutz collective farm. Professor Cotler spoke in his capacity as a board member of U.N. Watch, the Geneva-based human rights NGO.
Cotler said the Council, now meeting to wrap up a year’s worth of reform negotiations, is about to “institutionalize the condemnation of Israel as a standing item on the agenda-the permanent singling-out of Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment, a permanent Alice-in-Wonderland situation.” The tragedy, he said, was that “this is taking place under the protective cover of the U.N., undermining thereby the cause of the U.N., international law and human rights.”
All of the Council’s condemnations this year have been targeted against Israel, to the exclusion of the U.N.’s other 191 member states. Sudan’s actions in Darfur were debated but no censure followed.
Israel Arrests Two Palestinian Women Suicide Terrorists
In the wake of intelligence information, Israeli security services stationed at the Erez crossing, arrested two Palestinian women, who admitted to planning to perpetrate a double suicide bombing in crowded places (restaurants, events halls or any locality with a large concentration of soldiers) in Tel Aviv and Netanya. They further admitted that they were guided by Islamic Jihad, which exploited Israel’s humanitarian policy; the two had received medical entry permits into Israel under false pretenses.
Fatma Yunes Hassan Zak, 39, a resident of Gaza, mother of eight children and pregnant with her ninth, had been responsible for an Islamic Jihad Gaza women’s labor office for four years. She had been in contact with Islamic Jihad terrorists and coordinated contacts on their behalf with women who had volunteered to be suicide bombers.
Approximately three months ago, her niece, Ruda Ibrahim Yunes Haviv, 30, a resident of Gaza and mother of four children, sought her assistance in perpetrating a suicide attack. Zak, who decided to participate in the attack as well, contacted her Islamic Jihad liaison, who aided the two women in putting their plan into operation.
The two women attended several of their meetings with Islamic Jihad terrorists accompanied by several of their children. Zak’s 19-year-old son, also an Islamic Jihad terrorist, was present as the two women were photographed – holding copies of the Quran and weapons -before setting out.
In order for Zak and Haviv to enter Israel, an Islamic Jihad terrorist obtained an authentic entry permit which indicated that Haviv was due to undergo medical tests at a Ramallah hospital, with Zak as her attending relative. The terrorist also instructed the two to go to the hospital and actually undergo the test in order to cover their story. The two women were then instructed to inform Islamic Jihad in Gaza. They were told that an operative would meet them in Ramallah, provide them with explosive belts, and accompany them into Israel. Before leaving Gaza, Zak and Haviv trained in operating explosive belts and in firing an AK-47. They were also instructed on what clothing to wear in order to allay suspicions.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007