As the Israelis prepare to invade Gaza, decimate all Palestinian opposition, and establish a new quisling Palestinian regime...the following:
Al Qaida operating through Hamas, Israel warns
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, August 6, 2002
JERUSALEM — Israeli officials said Al Qaida has given the green light for the recruitment of Palestinians and the financing of attacks in both Israel and against Jewish targets abroad.
The officials said Al Qaida is operating through the Hamas organization.
Meanwhile, authorities have reported scores of intelligence alerts of suicide attacks over the last week.
The Cabinet has been briefed on Al Qaida's efforts, officials said. They said Al Qaida has been given permission to recruit and organize insurgency cells in the Palestinian Authority, Middle East Newsline reported.
"It has recently been found that Bin Laden's organization has been investing efforts into attacking Israeli/Jewish targets in Israel and around the world, and the organization has attempted to recruit and establish an operational infrastructure in the PA areas," a Cabinet statement said on Sunday.
The government has outlawed Al Qaida and declared it a terrorist group. This enables authorities to prosecute any member or supporter of the organization.
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer outlawed Al Qaida in October 2001. But the Cabinet decided on Sunday to declare Al Qaida a terrorist organization to expand the range of legal measures.
"In order to complete the said declaration and to expand the range of possible legal actions against it, Bin Laden's organization has been declared a terrorist organization," the Cabinet statement said.
On Monday, Israeli forces imposed a siege on the southern city of Rafah in an attempt to stop traffic to and from Rafah, particularly arms smuggling.
Officials said the siege on Rafah and other Palestinian cities are meant to stop suicide bombers against Israeli targets.
On Monday, a Palestinian suicide bomber entered Israel from the West Bank and forced his way into a car driven by an Israeli Arab motorist. The bomber demanded that he be driven to the nearby city of Afula, but his explosive belt blew up. The suicide attacker was killed and the motorist was injured.
Further south, Israeli troops pursued five Palestinians near the West Bank city of Kalkilya. The Palestinians fled and left behind a bag that contained five Kalashnikov rifles, grenades and ammunition.
Israeli AH-64A attack helicopters also attacked a suspected metal workshop in Gaza City. The workshop was said to been used for the production of Palestinian rockets and anti-tank missiles.
On Tuesday, Israeli attack helicopters and ground forces completed a search-and-destroy operation for a Fatah military commander. Israeli and Palestinian sources said Ali Ajuri, Fatah's commander in the Jenin region, and an aide was killed. Ajuri was said to have been responsible for sending suicide bombers to Israel.
Israel's military has summoned thousands of aging reservists who have not been drafted for several years. Officials said the soldiers are aged 40 who have already been retired from the military.
The mobilization is meant to bolster the military amid its intensive police mission in the West Bank. The mission has been conducted with the standing army.