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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Syrians move to protect Khaled Meshaal; Iranians, Syrians and possibly Egyptians helped in attack

Yesterday, I suggested that Israel target Hamas military leader Khaled Meshaal, who is hiding out in Damascus, and who controls the terrorists who are holding Gilad Shalit. Last night, I was pleased to see that former IDF Chief of Staff and Labor party minister Binyamin (Fuad) Ben Eliezer agrees with me. I don't know whether the Syrians read my blog (I have not seen any readers from Syria although I have seen readers from other Arab countries), but they have now moved to protect Meshaal from a potential targeted assassination.

Hat Tip: Innocent Bystander

The Syrian government has deployed security forces to protect overall Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and has advised him to restrict all public activities for the time being.

Diplomatic mediators involved in efforts to free 19 year old Gilad Shalit told reporters it is Meshaal's refusal that has been the key obstacle to freeing the soldier. They said they were told Meshaal was behind the directive to carry out the abduction, and that they were hopeful that his position against freeing Shalit would change. It should be noted that 82% of 'Palestinians' are also against freeing Gilad Shalit except in a prisoner exchange.

According to Israeli security sources, Syria and Iran have been pressuring Meshaal against releasing Shalit.

WorldNetDaily continues:
"Iran and Syria both want an escalation in the region to distract from the troubles surrounding their regimes," said a diplomatic source. "They want Israel to launch a ground operation. Violence helps them."

Israeli security officials earlier this week told WorldNetDaily they have information the terrorists who carried out the Hamas raid and Shalit kidnapping were trained by Iranian Revolutionary Guard units and Hezbollah guerillas. The information comes in part from a Hamas terrorist allegedly involved in the plot who was arrested by Israeli forces in Gaza the day before the kidnapping.

Senior Palestinian security officials linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party told WND Hamas and other Gaza-based groups have been receiving advanced military training by Iran and Hezbollah in recent months.

The officials said the training included carrying out guerilla attacks such as the one perpetuated this week, methods of intelligence collection and instructions for the use of advanced missiles. The training, they said, took place in the Egyptian Sinai desert and at special camps set up in Sudan. [You want to tell me that the Egyptians didn't know this was going on? CiJ]

During Sunday's raid in which Shalit was captured, eight Palestinian terrorists used a half-mile tunnel they dug to infiltrate Israel's Kerem Shalom military station on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border.

Soldiers at the border usually monitor the Gaza Strip and not the Israeli side, where the tunnel exit was located.

Upon exiting the tunnel, the Palestinian terrorists split into three cells, one lobbing more than 20 anti-tank missiles at an army tank; another attacking the tank with grenades, killing the two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping Shalit. The final cell attacked an army lookout post.

Two terrorists were killed during the raid, while the others escaped into Gaza with the kidnapped soldier. The army was not aware one of its troops had been kidnapped until several minutes after the operation.

Defense officials here called the raid "stunning." It was the first kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian terrorists since 1994. The operation went well beyond the scope of sophistication evidenced in recent Palestinian terror attacks.

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