Shin Beit rounds up a Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades gang
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Shin Beit rounds up a Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades gang on the point of a mortar blitz on southern Jerusalem. The Fatah gang was 12 strong; it had deployed in Bethlehem 8 mortars, 0.3 mm machine guns and a stock of shells and ammo. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that Israeli security forces stepped in to foil the attack in the nick of time; the hardware was already in position for a coordinated shelling and shooting bombardments of the Gilo and Har Homa districts of the capital which abut on Bethlehem.

On Feb. 22, Shin Beit director Yuval Diskin briefed the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee on the inquiry he launched after a single mortar was found poised to shell Jerusalem from neighboring Beit Jalla. The probe uncovered a large network armed with a variety of heavy weaponry including high trajectory arms. Eight of the mortars turned out to be home-made improvisations. The discovery that Fatah was manufacturing mortar-type weapons on the West Bank was alarming.

The attack’s commander was the al Aqsa Brigades Bethlehem chief Jabar Fuaz Eid Akhras. The plan was for the Beit Jalla mortar to shell Gilo first, then fire off the other seven from Bethlehem, when Israeli security and rescue forces has gathered at the scene. Har Homa was to have been the primary target of a massive blitz.
Posted by: Steve 2006-03-08