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Arab Rocket Threat Reaches Judea and Samaria

The threat of rocket attacks from areas in Judea and Samaria now controlled by the Palestinian Authority is becoming real, but the IDF has yet to respond.

By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 5/12/2006, 9:45 AM / Last Update: 5/12/2006, 12:30 PM

According to WorldNetDaily’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein, the government has been minimizing the threat, due to the risk of adverse publicity that would reflect on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, jeopardizing his unilateral withdrawal plan.

Click here to listen to Klein discuss the rockets with IsraelNationalRadio’s Tovia Singer.

Some terror groups within the PA-controlled territories have acquired rocket technology, including the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, which on Monday fired two rockets from Jenin, aimed at a nearby IDF military installation.

An IDF spokesman officially denied the report. However, according to Klein, a security official confirmed on condition of anonymity that the Jenin-1 rockets, less advanced Kassams with a range of approximately one mile, were indeed fired this week.

There have been a number of reports in the past of such rockets fired from northern Shomron, with preliminary denials from the IDF and later announcements that some rockets actually were, in fact, launched in the area.

According to the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades leaders who spoke with WND, the projectiles are called “Bahaa” rockets, after Saed Bahaa, a group member killed by IDF forces in an anti-terror operation last week.

The advent of rocket attacks from PA-controlled territories in Yesha is a relatively new development. Kassam rocket attacks have repeatedly been launched at southern Israeli communities from northern Gaza for months since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal. IDF shelling of Gaza launch sites has done little to stem the flow of terror which has traumatized Jews in southern Israel, especially in communities where schools and community centers have not been fortified against the attacks.

Terror groups are pledging to continue firing rockets in Gaza, as well as from PA-controlled areas in the Jewish regions of Judea and Samaria.

Abu Oudai, Al-Aksa's West Bank rocket coordinator, told WND, "This was not the first time we shot rockets from Jenin to the settlements of the enemy inside the green line. It is the enemy who for the first time has admitted that these rockets exist in [Judea and Samaria] and that they were shot against Israeli targets. We have launched six times, and with the help of Allah we will launch these rockets regularly."

In February, Israel's Shin Bet Security Services captured a rocket launcher and mortars in Bethlehem that were to be fired at Gilo, a Jewish neighborhood in southern Jerusalem.

The day the attack was thwarted, Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees terror organization, said his group was coordinating extensive rocket capabilities in Judea and Samaria:

"We call on (Shin Bet chief Yuval) Diskin and tell him not to be so happy and proud about stopping our attack because there is much more to come. I am not going to give details (about which cities we will attack), but we are planning to be present all around the West Bank. Every Israeli target is a legitimate target. Jerusalem, Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv and every Israeli point can be part of our goals."

Knesset Member Effie Eitam (National Union), said yesterday that any Judea and Samaria withdrawal will result in rockets fired a major Israeli cities.

"Aside from the short-range rockets the Palestinians have now, it is just a question of time before they obtain longer-range missiles from Iran. Regardless, Olmert's withdrawal will give the terrorists land bordering our major cities," said Eitam, who serves on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. Now Hezbollah has over 10,000 missiles on the border pointed at us. Israel evacuated Gaza last summer. The missiles are flying out every day," Eitam stated. "There is no doubt a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria will bring a rocket war to Israel."