The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that the Al Aksa Brigades of the PLO’s Fatah movement, which remains on the list of organizations on the American Justice Department’s terror watch list, has assumed a leadership role in Ramallah, the stronghold of tbe nascent Palestinian Authority
“Elements within Fatah believe they must restore the credibility of the organization as a resistance movement,” a Palestinian source said. “They feel this would attract Iranian funding as well as cooperation with Hamas.”
On Nov. 16, a Fatah operative was arrested and charged with planning a suicide bombing against Israel in the city of Nablus. The Israeli military identified the Fatah member as Mohammed Abu Krek, 17. “Mohammed Abu Krek was a member of the military infrastructure squad of the terrorist organization in the old city of Nablus,” a military statement said. “This squad specializes in manufacturing unique explosive devices such as explosive belts…”
The Israeli military said Abu Krek was the deputy to Fatah commander Ami Loubadah, identified as an expert in the assembly of suicide explosive belts. The statement said Abu Krek produced the belt used by a Fatah operative who recently tried to bomb an Israel Army checkpoint outside of Nablus.
Fatah cells in the northern West Bank are also in contact with Hamas-sponsored counterparts in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas regime has been openly recruiting Fatah operatives to help plan attacks inside Israeli urban centers.
On Nov. 17, Israeli authorities announced that Fatah had recruited a 21-year-old Israeli Arab woman to abduct a Jew in the Tel Aviv area. Somaiya Abu Ghanem, a 21-year-old kindergarten teacher arrested on Oct. 28, was charged with contact with a foreign agent, Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, located in the Gaza Strip.
“In September of this year, she was contacted by Gaza-based Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists, who sought her assistance in kidnapping a Jew,” an Israeli government statement said. “She expressed her willingness to do so. It further arises that she was also asked to assist in bringing a woman suicide terrorist from Gaza into Israel and to lead her to a crowded place.”
Meanwhile, initial results of Fatah’s regional elections in Ramallah show that the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, are leading over their rivals by a large gap.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .