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Olmert’s administration decided to transfer the U.S.-manufactured weapons to Abbas’ guard troops in a bid to shore up his ability to protect himself in the fight against the terror group Hamas for control of PA security forces. The recent shipment included 3,000 M-16 automatic machine guns and one million rounds of ammunition.
“I did this because we are running out of time and we need to help Abu Mazen,” Olmert told reporters on Tuesday, using Abbas’ nom de guerre. Olmert made the announcement one day before heading to Petra for an official meeting with Abbas, hosted by Jordanian King Abdullah II at a quiet breakfast during a gathering of Nobel Prize laureates and other notables. Vice Premier Shimon Peres and world-renown author Elie Wiesel attended the gathering as well.
Abu Yousuf said bluntly that the weapons will be used to shoot Jews, and added that the terror organization may share the weaponry with Hamas as well, if its 3,000-member militia is absorbed into the general PA police force.
"These weapons will not be used in an internal war but against Israelis," Yousuf told Klein. He added as far as his group was concerned, Israel transferred the weapons to his Force 17 unit "for its own political purposes. We are not concerned with the reasons. The weapons will not be used against our brothers, only [against] Israelis."
The terrorist also called WND to claim responsibility on behalf of Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades for an ambush of an armored Israeli bus earlier in the week in Samaria, just outside the town of Ofra. Three school girls were lightly wounded in the attack, which security officials said would have been more serious had the bus not been armored.
Security sources added that the Israel Defense Force suspects a terror cell from Yousuf’s group in Ramallah of carrying out other recent attacks, including an ambush which resulted in the death of an Israeli Arab traveling on a highway near Jerusalem. The senior terrorist lives with other members of the group in the Mukata, the former Ramallah residence of the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Yousuf also revealed that many of the weapons are being stored in the compound.
Al-Aksa Martys’ Brigades has been on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organization since March 2002. The group took joint credit with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization for the April 19th bombing of a Tel Aviv restaurant in which 11 people were murdered, including 16 year old Daniel Wultz of Florida.