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Terrorist Attacks Return to Sderot and Gaza

Gaza terrorists returned to attacking each other as well as firing rockets at the Israeli city of Sderot Friday and Saturday.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 2/18/2007, 1:09 AM

Sderot residents were besieged by rocket fire over the Sabbath even as Palestinian Authority terrorists attacked each other.

The El-Arish Brigades, a terrorist group affiliated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, took responsibility for two separate Kassam rocket attacks against Israel, Friday night and again on Saturday. Two of the missiles exploded near Kibbutz Magen, east of Gaza, and two others slammed into an area near Sderot.

No one was injured and no damage was reported in either attack, which the terrorists said were in retaliation for Israeli “aggression on Jerusalem and Al-Aksa [mosque] at the Temple Mount.”

The so-called aggression was a reference to repair work that is being carried out on a broken footbridge leading to the entrance of the Temple Mount. The construction and excavation site is located about 60 meters away from the mosque, but Muslims claim that Israel is trying to undermine the foundations of mosques in order to cause their collapse.

Rival PA terrorist gangs also attacked each other on Saturday in a return to the militia war that has torn apart the PA for much of the past year.

Gunfights broke out in Gaza and Samaria during the day, including an attack on the house of PA Planning Minister Samir Abu Aisha early Saturday morning.

The Palestinian Legislative Council immediately issued a statement condemning the attacks and reminding all terrorist factions of the unity deal signed in Mecca slightly more than a week ago between Fatah and Hamas.

Other inter-faction attacks have taken place over the past several days as well. Gunmen fired at Fatah members in the Gaza town of Bani Sohaila, and a minor shootout took place on the Salah-el-din Road in central Gaza.

Also over the weekend, a Palestinian Authority security officer was shot by masked terrorists near the Gaza-Egypt border crossing. Egyptian officials said it was an assassination attempt in retaliation for the officer’s reporting of a tunnel used by smugglers to bring weapons and terrorists into Gaza. More than 30,000 bullets were discovered in the tunnel, which opened into the middle of a field approximately three miles north of Rafiah.

The attackers fired at Mustafa Sa’ad Jbour from a speeding car several hundred yards from the Rafiah checkpoint, according to Captain Mohammed Badr, an Egyptian Sinai security service officer. Jbour was taken to hospital in the Egyptian town of El-Arish.

Badr said the Egyptians would coordinate with PA security personnel to close the tunnel at both ends.

Hamas Invites Terrorists Groups into Government
The Hamas terrorist organization, headed by PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, invited the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on Saturday to join the new unity government. Earlier in the day, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization was invited as well but rejected the offer.

PFLP head Kayid al-Ghoul said his group was considering the offer, but refuses to commit itself to comply with demands by the international community that the PA government recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and uphold previously-signed international agreements.