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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fatah behind Tel Aviv bus bombing?

Hamas, as it turns out, only praised Wednesday's bus bombing in Tel Aviv. Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (remember them?) actually took credit for it. This is from a press release from the Israel Project, which I received by email.
Wednesday's bus bombing in Tel Aviv is now being claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a group linked to the Palestinian Fatah party that controls the West Bank, according to Palestinian sources cited by Israeli media.
The claim of responsibility contradicts initial reports published on the BBC and elsewhere that Hamas had claimed the terror attack, and subsequent reporting that the attack was coordinated jointly between Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). An analysis by The Israel Project from early October called attention to a joint war room set up by Hamas and PIJ, noting it as a potential signal that Hamas was preparing to escalate its conflict with Israel.
Hamas, an Iran-backed group that controls the Gaza Strip, has "blessed" the attack, boasting about the bombing on social media and celebrating it on Hamas TV. Sweet cakes in celebration of the Israeli wounded were handed out at the main hospital in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The competing claim of responsibility by a Fatah-linked group comes as Arabic media outlets report spreading West Bank protests against Israel and against U.S. Secretary of State Clinton. The demonstrations, which were called for by mosque loudspeakers in Nablus and Hebron this afternoon after the day's third prayer, have raised speculation that Hamas is trying to escalate the situation in the territory, but also call attention to Fatah's role in maintaining security in the West Bank. In the past Fatah security officers have blocked large protests from coalescing.
The bus bombing has drawn international condemnation, including from the UN, US, UK, and France. It is considered a crime of terrorism under the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, to which every EU state, including the UK, is a party.
TIP is posting live updates on the aftermath of the bombing online and will update throughout the day. TIP’s update page is online here.

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