IDF Relentless as Hamas, Fatah in Bloody Feud
The most active terrorist organization in the Palestinian Territories has been the relatively new Popular Resistance Committees, a blend of terrorists largely from Hamas, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On Friday, Israel launched an airstrike into the Gaza Strip and killed five terrorists training at a PRC base camp. The Hamas-led Palestinian government condemned the attacks as a “horrendous bloodbath”. Concurrently, the IDF launched operations in Nablus’ Balata refugee camp, where one terrorist, brandishing a Molotov cocktail, was killed and 5 wanted terror suspects were captured.
Following later rocket attacks intended to strike Israel from northern Gaza, the IDF launched a volley of artillery fire into launch positions on Saturday and Sunday. The first rocket attack found the Qassam rocket fall short of its mark, failing to cross the Gaza-Israel border. It could be an indication that the terrorists firing the rockets have moved back behind the launch points previously used and shelled by the IDF. Palestinian medics said that two farmers were killed in the artillery barrages, again giving indication that Israeli artillery is following them back as well. It also indicates that the number of the much longer-range Katyusha rockets brought into Gaza may indeed be a smaller number than initially suggested.
Inside the PRC seems to be the only arena where Fatah and Hamas elements can cooperate. Early Monday, a gunbattle in Gaza broke out between Hamas and Fatah at Khan Younis, as no safe haven of cooperation exists on the Gaza streets amid the fight for control of the Palestinian government. Two of the dead were from Fatah and one from Hamas with several others wounded. Hamas had accused Fatah members of kidnapping one of their men.
There were reports Sunday that Israeli intelligence had disrupted a plot to kill Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. According to the UK’s Sunday Times, “Hamas’s military wing, the Izza Din Al-Qassem, had planned to kill Abbas at his office in Gaza, intelligence sources said.” Hamas denied plotting an Abbas assassination.
Israpundit takes a closer look at the Sunday Times’ author, Uzi Mahnaimi, and comes to the conclusion that the assassination story should be taken with a grain of salt. Fact or fiction, it is a believable concept, bolstered by the growing violent clashes between Fatah and Hamas on the Palestinian streets.