The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades of the Fatah are defined by both the US and Israeli governments as a terrorist organization, yet both governments ignore that operative legal definition and choose to define the Fatah as a moderate peace partner, invited to attend the Middle East Summit in Annapolis on November 26th.
However, in a seminal analysis for the Israeli media provided by an Israeli security official who had been the Israeli intelligence chief for Judea and Samaria, the official noted that “The Fatah leadership, headed by Abu Mazen, is careful on every opportunity and before every extended microphone, to condemn terror and call for its cessation. But even while they speak, their soldiers-the members of the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades-are immersed over their heads in terror. In the past few days, we have received painful terrorist reminders from them: Yesterday, the shooting attack in Ariel, and recent intentions to assassinate Olmert during a visit to Jericho”.
The Israeli security official also noted that “the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, are still linked to Abu Mazen [A.K.A MACHMUD ABBAS – DB], all of whom receive a monthly salary from the budget of the Palestinian Authority, some of whom even serve in uniform as part of the Palestinian security forces”.
Several hundred Fatah wanted men recently received full amnesty from Israeli pursuit, after many efforts made by Abu Mazen in his talks with Olmert to achieve the “amnesty for wanted men” agreement.
Yet according to the Israeli security official, “Abu Mazen has not kept his part of the agreement. Most, if not all, of the wanted men did not give up their arms to the Palestinian police as required by the agreement…Abu Mazen also continues to pay their salaries and to provide them with comfortable living conditions in his camps and headquarters. Fatah operatives in the West Bank enjoy the best of both worlds: They take advantage of Israel’s uncompromising war against Hamas and Islamic Jihad to gain strength, and have become the source of terror in the West Bank. In the past few weeks, there has been an increase in the number of shooting attacks on West Bank roads, fortunately without casualties. Most of the attacks were committed by the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades”
The security official noted that while Hamas is known to be pressuring its members to carry out a large terror attack in order to obstruct the conference, “Now it has become apparent that our concerns should be aimed in a different direction – that Abu Mazen’s soldiers will be the ones who will succeed in carrying out a large terror attack that will spoil the conference at Annapolis”.