Jerusalem – On Aug. 25, an Arab terrorist attack was thwarted when two terrorists were killed after infiltrating Israel in heavy fog and reaching the outskirts of the community of Netiv Ha’asara just outside the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army has apprehended two other terrorists who guided the two to the security fence in the Erez Crossing area.
In the infiltration, the terrorists used a ladder made of ropes which was prepared in advance. As they arrived at the Erez Crossing, they opened fire and hurled hand grenades. In the ensuing chase the terrorists were killed by the IDF force. Two soldiers were lightly wounded.
The two terrorists that were killed were Hader Ukal, 21, and Mahamed Tzaker, 20. Weaponry was uncovered on their bodies included explosive devices, fragmentation grenades, an AK-47 assault rifle and two military vests.
The other militants, who were arrested afterwards, are Abdel El Rahman Makadmeh, 21, and Mamduh Tanani, 20, members of the “Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades” Fateh organization in the Gaza Strip. The Fateh is chaired by Palestinian Authority President Machmud Abbas.
The two Fateh operatives confessed their involvement during an Israeli Security Agency investigation of their part in the act, including assistance in leaping over the security fence using the rope ladder. They added they took part in preliminary patrols and observations along the Gaza Strip security fence.
Mamduh Tanani told investigators he was recruited to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in 2005. Primarily he went through instructions in light weapons and took part in field “security missions” against Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Tanani confessed that during 2006 he underwent training by Hamas for the purpose of his participation in a future suicide bombing attempt. He was recruited to Hamas a month prior to his arrest, investigators said. He also admitted to being involved in launching rockets into Israel.
Abdel El Rahman Makadmeh, 21, originally from Dubai, was also recruited to the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in 2005. Initially he served as an armed “guard” and was planting explosive devices meant to be activated against the IDF. Makadmeh admitted that he had been operating for the preparation of the aforementioned terror attack for nearly a year.
Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades of the Fatah organization is listed as an illegal terrorist organization by the U.S. and Israeli governments. Fatah has refused to disband the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. The U.S. and Israeli government representatives refuse to answer why, then, both governments now refer to Fatah as a non-terror entity.
Palestinians Increase Mortar Range
The Palestinians have succeeded in increasing the range of their mortar shell fire. This development became evident in the course of this past week.
On Sunday night, three mortar shells were fired into the northern Negev. They landed near one of the kibbutzim in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, which had been believed out of mortar shell range. IAF helicopter gunships attacked the terror cell that was responsible for the mortar shell fire while it was in the midst of firing. The cell was positioned east of Gaza City. Palestinian sources reported that five Palestinians were injured in that attack, two of whom were said to be in serious condition. When IDF Southern Command officials measured the distance between the launching site and the point of impact it became evident that the launcher was positioned 4.2 kilometers away from the point of impact. Until then, the maximum range of mortar shell fire had been between 2.5 and 3 kilometers.
Two more shells were fired into the Negev yesterday. One of the rockets fell to the east of Sderot in an open field and the other fell near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip. Five mortar shells were also fired into the northern Negev. The shells landed in an open field outside Kibbutz Erez.
‘Bargaining Chip’ May Be Freed By Germany
Kazem Darabi, an Iranian citizen who is serving a life sentence in Germany for his role in the “Mykonos Affair,” the murder of opponents of the Iranian regime in a Berlin restaurant, is likely to be released in the near future. According to past reports, the Germans were supposed to release Darabi in the context of a deal in which Israel would obtain information about the fate of Ron Arad, the Israeli Air Force pilot who was captured in Lebanon in October, 1986.
Now, on the eve of the 21st anniversary of Arad’s abduction, Darabi’s expected release is going to close another door on the immense efforts that have been made over the years to locate the missing airman.
Next week Ron Arad’s daughter, Yuval, and Ron Arad’s brother, Chen, are scheduled to leave for Germany for a meeting with the prosecutor general in an attempt to prevent Darabi’s release. An unusual coincidence, according to a televised report last night, is the meeting is scheduled for October 16, which was the date that Ron Arad was abducted.
The last time there was talk about Darabi being released was in the framework of the prisoner exchange deal involving Elhanan Tannenbaum, an Israeli drug dealer who was kidnapped in Lebanon. In the first stage of the deal Israel released Dirani, Obeid and dozens of other prisoners, in exchange for which Israel received the dead bodies of three Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped from Israel’s northern border, along with Tannenbaum.
In 2004, the Sharon government approved the deal by a one-vote margin only after the Israeli cabinet ministers were given assurances that there would be a second stage to the deal. In the second stage, Hizbullah was supposed to provide concrete information that would help locate Ron Arad.
The German government, which mediated between the parties, was ready to release Kazem Darabi, the leader of the assassins who in the past served as the leader of Hizbullah in Germany and worked for the Iranian intelligence service, VEVAK, in exchange for information from Hezbollah concerning the fate of Arad.
However, Hezbollah never provided any information about Arad.
Three and one-half years have passed. Now the German government has decided to release Darabi from prison and, by so doing, has squandered a very important bargaining chip that might have helped solve the Ron Arad mystery.
EU Official: Peace
Talks Must Include
‘Right Of Return’
Speaking ahead of the planned Annapolis Middle East summit, the European Union spokeswoman said that the EU supports the Arab initiative in full, and will demand that the “right of return” be included in all negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, and called on the Arab League to step up involvement in talks.
In an interview with the Israeli media, EU spokesperson Christiane Hohmann said the EU supports the Arab initiative in full, including all of its clauses.
She added that the matter of the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendents to villages from 1948 which no longer exist must be discussed in talks between the parties.
In response to the question whether the EU supports an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights as part of the Arab initiative, Ms. Hohmann said the EU supports the implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions.
According to Ms. Hohmann, the Annapolis conference will include a number of EU representatives, including High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
On expectations for the Annapolis conference, Ms. Hohmann said the EU expects to see a document by both parties that defines how they plan to move forward on a realistic schedule. Ms. Hohmann stressed that the EU plans to apply pressure on both parties in order to reach an agreement.
©The Bulletin 2007