Jerusalem – Israel spotted Omar al-Khatib, a senior Islamic Jihad leader who was killed last Thursday, by means of a telephone conversation.
Al-Khatib died when an Israeli air force helicopter fired two missiles at the car in which he was riding in Saladin Street in Gaza City. One of the missiles scored a direct hit on the car.
Two other Islamic Jihad terrorists, Ziad el-Daifi and Ahmed Abd el-A’al, were also killed in the attack.
How does this work? Israel’s General Security Services officials simply call the cell phones of Palestinian terrorists to locate their whereabouts by means of the phone connection.
That is exactly what happened to el-Khatib. Last Tuesday, he received a call from an “Orange” cell phone company number.
Within seconds, an Israeli aircraft launched a missile at the car in which he was riding. He survived, but the missile hit a house in Iz a Din al-Kassam Street in the Nasr a-Din neighborhood of Gaza.
Two days later, he was killed by Israel together with two of his subordinates, his deputy Khalil Daifi and Ahmed el-A’al.
Khatib was personally responsible for firing large numbers of Kassam rockets, mortar bombs and anti-tank rockets.
Another terrorist, Aziz a-Shami, was killed three and a half years ago in the same manner. On Feb. 7, 2004, he was riding in his car with two other people when he received a phone call from an Israeli number. While he was still talking on the phone, he was killed by a missile.
How does Israel get the cell phones of terrorists?
The Palestinian Society for Academic Affairs (PASSIA) issues a phone directory with the names and cell phones of all leading Palestinian terror organizations. The cost is 50 shekels ($12.50).
PASSIA was funded until recently by USAID, formerly under the direction of Larry Garber, who is now the head of the New Israel Fund. Garber left his position with USAID after a U.S. congressional audit of PASSIA revealed that USAID funds had disappeared from PASSIA records.
Israeli intelligence is very appreciative of PASSIA telephone information services, which is located in Jerusalem, only two blocks away from the Israel Ministry of Justice.
PASSIA accepts credit card payments, by the way.
Palestinian Minister: Iran Holds Fate Of Gilad Shalit
Ashraf al-Ajrami, the Palestinian minister for prisoners in the transitional government of Mahmoud Abbas, told the Israeli press yesterday that “the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is now in the hands of the Iranians.”
Ajrami said that “Iran is putting pressure on Hamas not to release Shalit and to hold him as long as possible.
Ajrami added that Iran is paying Hamas large sums of money to continue holding Shalit.
He said: “Time is the significant factor with regard to the kidnapped soldier, and Hamas knows that, too. They also know that Shalit is the only bargaining chip they have, and therefore the good news for Shalit and his family is that Hamas will make sure that no harm comes to him.”
Meanwhile, Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram two days ago that there is no sign on the horizon that Shalit will soon be released.
Bush Plans Palestinian State In Parallel To Withdrawal From Iraq
The international conference for the Middle East that President Bush has planned for this autumn is supposed to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state within the next year and a half, prior to the end of Bush’s term in office.
A senior American official said that that was the central purpose of the speech Bush delivered about the Middle East on July 16. People close to the president have begun to speak aloud about the president’s “legacy,” which has prompted White House officials to act with redoubled efforts to create a “practical political horizon” that might yet be reached within the year and a half the president has left in office and might be presented as an achievement of the president’s foreign policy.
The White House has set itself a goal of improving the security situation for the Middle East as a whole, and specifically for Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, prior to the end of Bush’s term.
However, the Bush administration must rely on the same assumption of the Clinton administration, which is that Fatah and the PLO will renounce terrorism and reject the goal to conquer all of Palestine, albeit in stages.
After 14 years of negotiations, there is no sign of any change in the PLO position.
‘We Have Not Relinquished The Armed Struggle’
“Just because the words ‘armed struggle’ do not appear in the platform of the Palestinian Authority, this does not mean that we have relinquished the armed struggle against Israel.” So declared the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, who conducted a press conference yesterday afternoon in which he went on to say that “resistance of a conquered people is a legitimate right of any people”.
Fayyad had been hailed by the U.S. government, the Israeli government and the world press as a “moderate” when he was named to his positions in late June by the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza strip – an act which effectively created two Palestinian Arab entities -one in Gaza, under Hamas, and the other in Ramallah, under the Fatah, the dominant party of the Palestinian Authority. The Fatah, which in Arabic means “conquest,” was founded by the late Yassir Arafat and his protégé, Mahmoud Abbas.
This past Friday, Fayyad presented the principles of his new government to the media.
The Israeli press universally praised the fact that the term “makauma,” which means “armed struggle,” was absent from the Palestinian Authority ruling platform.
On Saturday, Fayyad was bitterly attacked in all corners of Palestinian society for seemingly to neglect the armed struggle against Israel
Indeed, the charter of the Fatah and the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, which has never been nullified, calls for the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine, and not only Judea and Samaria, also known as the “West Bank.”
Fayyad’s endorsement of the armed struggle follows the example of Palestinian leader Abbas, who declared in January that “Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at the occupation … . Today more than any other day, we must hold fast to our Palestinian principles, and we will not accept a state with temporary borders,” said Abbas, adding, “We will not give up one grain of [land] in Jerusalem.”
Abbas was speaking at the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the Fatah organization – a day commemorating the first PLO attack on Israel’s national water carrier on Jan. 1, 1965 – before Israel acquired Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, following the 1967 war. As if to remove any doubt about the meaning of Abbas’ words, minutes after Abbas’ own speech, Palestinian television’s senior announcer, described Israel’s establishment as the beginning of “occupation.”
Since the current Israeli government also describes Abbas as a “moderate,” The Bulletin asked the Israel Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon as to how Abbas’ endorsement of “rifles aimed at the occupation” jived with the Israeli view of Abbas as a “moderate.” Maimon stared into space and would not answer the question put to him by The Bulletin.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007