Jerusalem – Israeli Intelligence Director Yuval Diskin presented information at Sunday’s Israel government cabinet meeting that he described as reliable, showing that terror organizations plan to kidnap Israeli tourists.
The alleged plotters, he said, intend to perpetrate their intentions on the Jewish New Year holiday of Rosh Hashanah or one of the following holidays, or they may try to stage a mass terror attack in the Sinai Peninsula.
Mr. Diskin’s statements follow a series of previous warnings by the Israel Counter-Terrorism Bureau, which has been warning of Islamic terrorist threats in Sinai since the Gaza Strip fell to Hamas.
Israeli intelligence, however, is afraid that its call for caution is becoming routine, and could lead the Israeli on the street to the familiar reaction such as “it will be okay,” and “it’s dangerous everywhere.”
The Israeli intelligence director added that the truce in the south and the cease-fire with Hamas were being upheld, but that “Hamas is taking advantage of the quiet for upgrading its operational capabilities, arms smuggling and building combat support systems, such as an advanced communication system.”
Mr. Diskin told the ministers and added that when weapons are smuggled, the focus is on explosives for rockets, in order to manufacture advanced Qassam rockets. Another smuggling route works to import light arms to the Gaza Strip. “These weapons are intended, to the best of our understanding, to set up armed militias,” clarified Mr. Diskin.
Yesterday morning, The “Voice of Israel” radio newsreel added that “there was a sharp increase in the scale of training of the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip during August, and that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees each held at least 10 exercises. Among the actions they practiced were abducting soldiers, assaults on IDF fortified positions, firing mortars, rockets and heavy machine guns.
The head of the Islamic Jihad military wing in the Gaza Strip, Mr. Khaled Mansour, took part in one of the exercises held last Saturday, in the ruins of the Neveh Dekalim, the former Israeli city in Katif that was bulldozed by Israel three years ago.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008