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Sunday, April 23, 2006

'Jews are our enemy. I will pull the trigger whenever required'

The London Sunday Telegraph has an interview with Jamal Abu Samhadana, the chief of the new 'Palestinian paramilitary police force' set up by Hamas. The interview is not pretty. But it exposes Abu Samhadana for what he is. And it shows why he is a prime target for the IAF helicopters.... So why does the Telegraph seem to love him so much?

"This will be the nucleus of the future Palestinian army," he said. "The resistance must continue."


He told The Sunday Telegraph: "We have only one enemy. They are Jews. We have no other enemy. I will continue to carry the rifle and pull the trigger whenever required to defend my people."

Dressed in his customary black fatigues, he gave a wide grin that was meant to win over colleagues from the Popular Resistance Committees now under his command.

"This position may transform me into a corrupt person. Your role is to correct me, to guide me," he reassured the nervous huddle of supporters who had waited more than two hours for his arrival.

Brushing aside the local and international condemnation that followed his appointment, Abu Samhadana said: "We are also a force against corruption. We are against thieves, corrupt officials and law breakers."

His allies had feared that he might moderate his stance on Israel after his elevation. "Our main worry was about whether we would keep up the resistance with him in such a high-profile position," one lieutenant admitted. They were now reassured, he added.

Abu Samhadana's appointment by the Hamas-led Palestinian government to head its security forces has forced him to redouble his own security precautions. He regards his mobile telephone as a "spy", capable of being tracked by Israeli intelligence agents who have made two attempts on his life.

The most recent was late last year, when the convoy in which he was being driven was struck by two missiles, fired from an Israeli attack helicopter.

Now he travels alone, late at night, in cars too old and battered to draw attention. He never spends more than one night in the same place and he rarely prays twice in the same mosque.

In recent months, he has directed the continuing barrage of Qassam rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, guaranteeing that he remains a high-priority target for Israel. Hours after his appointment, Zeev Boim, Israel's housing minister, said Abu Samhadana's new status conferred no immunity on him.

"We have a long account to settle with this notorious terrorist. Sooner or later, we will get our hands on him," he said.


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