The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for Wednesday night’s terrorist shooting attack in Binyamin which left two Israelis lightly injured and riddled their car with bullets.
The terrorist group is linked to the Fatah faction led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. At its General Conference which ended this week, Fatah reaffirmed its endorsement of the Al Aksa Martyr's Brigade – responsible for numerous suicide bombings and terrorist attacks – as its armed wing.
The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades are the jewel in Fatah's crown.
"It is not possible to rule out or to marginalize the military option. The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades are the jewel in Fatah's crown. We must strengthen their status... [and] maintain them in a state of alert,” Fatah spokesman Fahmi Al-Za'arir stated at the conference.
The injured Israeli civilians told authorities they were driving near the community of Eli when a car with Israeli license plates signaled them to stop. The passengers in the other car then opened fire from their window. The Israeli civilians were evacuated to the Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Both are reported to be suffering from light wounds.
Soldiers are searching for the attackers, who fled the scene.
Samarian Regional Council head Benny Katzover linked the recent dismantling of IDF checkpoints to attacks on Israeli civilians, and warned that “when it comes to security, we will be in a state of anarchy, due to American pressure [to remove IDF security roadblocks].”
As part of the government's overtures to the Barack Obama administration, Israel has implemented several measures to improve mobility for PA Arabs in the Binyamin and Samaria regions in recent months. Dozens of IDF checkpoints have been removed and soldiers no longer check Arab travelers for weapons at one of the largest Samaria checkpoints, Hawara, where would-be terrorists have often been stopped in the past.