Despite several years of military cooperation with Israel, the Fatah movement, the dominant force behind the Palestinian Authority (PA), has resumed terror activities against Israel, according to Middle East Newsline. This development could make things difficult for the U.S. due to a high degree of American involvement.
Over the past year, due to earlier Israeli military cooperation efforts with Fatah forces, Israel had pardoned more than 250 Fatah terrorists implicated in the attacks in 2003 and 2004, and many of them were absorbed in PA security forces.
Now, Israeli intelligence sources say, dozens of these pardoned Fatah terrorists have returned to the fighting Israel. They said these Fatah fighters have been encouraged by senior members of the movement led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to fight the Jewish state.
“The assessment is that a Fatah campaign would revive their movement and exploit the international atmosphere against the new Israeli government [of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu],” an Israeli intelligence source said.
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Fatah has claimed responsibility for killings of Israeli police and civilians in March and April.
This information coincides with Ha’aretz reports about the U.S. government’s program that provides “top-level training to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian security forces,” amid information showing Fatah operatives and members of the Palestinian security forces are being recruited for attacks against Israel.
The American-advised training course for Fatah, titled the “Senior Leaders Course,” is a two-month long program conducted in the Palestinian capital of Ramallah, which has been aided and supervised by the U.S., and remains part of the project overseen by the U.S. security coordinator in the territories, Gen. Keith Dayton.
Ha’aretz also reported the American training program for Fatah forces have produced 80 graduates divided into two 40-student classes. A third class, made up of commanders from the Palestinian National Security – the largest security force with 15,000 members, tasked with policing borders, providing military intelligence, military police services and presidential security – is currently being trained in Jordan.
The return of Fatah to terrorist activity against could place Israel on a collision course with Fatah’s American military advisers.
This could create a nightmare scenario of American military personnel caught in the crossfire between Israeli troops and Fatah terrorists.
The American consulate in Jerusalem has so far not commented on the fact that Fatah security forces, known as the al-Aqsa Brigades, are defined by American law as a terrorist entity and possibly are being inadvertently aided by the U.S. military.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org