Daily Israel Report

Islamic Jihad Challenges Israel Amid Growing Anarchy

Islamic Jihad terror leaders declared they will end the "calm" and strike Tel Aviv if Israel tries to capture or kill them. Meanwhile, Arabs continued shooting each other in Jenin.
First Publish: 6/25/2005, 10:03 PM / Last Update: 6/26/2005, 12:44 AM

Israel earlier this week arrested 50 Islamic Jihad terrorists, including several who were not "ticking bombs," following a continued escalation in terrorism which killed an IDF soldier and a civilian. Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, quoted in an Arab newspaper in Lebanon, warned Israel that if goes after terrorist leaders, the diplomatic process will end immediately.

Abu Udai, a leading terrorist of the Jenin branch of Fatah party's military arm, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, threatened that "suicide bombers will shake the heart of Israel and Tel Aviv" if Israel does not stop arresting terrorists.

In Gaza, a terror leader of Hamas, which is a de facto rival authority to the Palestinian Authority (PA), said the diplomatic effort was a failure. "All of Palestine, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, will be liberated by the martyrs and their rifles," threatened Hamas terrorist Nizaar Rian.

The PA's weakness is Gaza also was evident in Samaria where more gunfights broke out Friday afternoon between terrorists and PA security forces. Last night, An Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades gang murdered a PA policeman after one of its leaders was released following interrogation concerning the shooting of a PA legislator.

After the killing, the gang burned the legislators' car. PA police arrested most of the gang Friday, but the leader still was at-large. Jenin's Al-Aqsa terror boss Zakaria Zubeidi denied that the terrorists were from his organization. The Brigade is the terror branch of the ruling Fatah party.

PA prime Minister Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) announced that security would be improved by a deal in which 220 wanted terrorists would join the PA police in exchange for turning over their personal weapons. However, PA chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) conceded that there is no chance that the PA will take all of the terrorists' weapons in the near future.

Despite the street battles, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said he is continuing plans to give the PA full control of Bethlehem next week and Kalkilya the following week. Bethlehem borders the Gush Etzion Jewish towns south of Jerusalem, and Kalkilya borders Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv, and is the gateway to several heavily-populated Jewish towns n Samaria, including Kedumim and Ginot/Karnei Shomron.