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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hamas in Damascus and Hezbullah planned Jerusalem terror attack?

Haaretz is reporting in Sunday's editions that Hamas in Damascus planned Thursday night's terror attack in coordination with Hezbullah. A cell in Judea or Samaria was used to carry out the attack. Hamas in Gaza was not involved in the planning.
So far no Palestinian or Arab organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, although Palestinian sources have said that the attack had been planned by a Hamas network in the West Bank acting on orders from its leaders in Damascus. Hamas' leadership in Gaza was not privy to the plan, which was drawn up in coordination with Hezbollah, the sources said.

The Palestinian Authority believes this was the first of a number of planned attacks by both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, independent of each other.

The Shin Bet security service said the gunman was not known to them. Major General Ilan Franco, the commander of Jerusalem's district police, told Channel 2 that the attacker was "not known to the security forces."

An initial police investigation has revealed that the shooting was not a spontaneous attack, but had been planned in advance. Police also learnt that Abu Dhaim had personally chosen the location and time for the shooting. To this end, he carried out extensive reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering work on the yeshiva.

The gunman had also stockpiled weapons and ammunition, only some of which he took to perpetrate the attack - an AK-47 assault rifle, two pistols and a few magazines.

Since Abu Dhaim, an East Jerusalem resident, had a blue identity card, and since he transported people in the area, he was able to move freely in the city's western part, too, and seems to have been well-acquainted with the attack site. The key question is where he obtained his AK-47 assault rifle, which he used to attack the yeshiva.

Investigators were seeking to establish whether Abu Dhaim had acted alone or was connected to any militant group, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Abu Dhaim never worked in the yeshiva and the police dismissed the assumption that he had planned to stage a standoff inside the yeshiva, while taking students hostage.
I wonder how Abu Dhaim knew the Yeshiva's routines so well if he didn't work there. Thursday night is the most crowded night of the week for many yeshivas. It's the first night of the weekend, and not only do the regular yeshiva students tend to stay later, but also outsiders - like people from the neighborhood or alumni of the yeshiva - will come to study on Thursday night. Second, most yeshivas (and synagogues for that matter) have little or no security. During the bad years of the Oslo War, that's how restaurants were attacked and eventually all of the restaurants got security guards (and most of them still maintain them). Will yeshivas and synagogues need armed security guards as well? Are we destined to become like Europe where nearly every synagogue is a fortress?

And another observation. For a while, taxi companies were advertising "Jewish drivers only." That was stopped. I don't remember whether it was stopped because it was illegal or it was stopped because of a public outcry. But either way, it's time to start it again. There is no sense in giving the Arabs more opportunities to drive in 'west' Jerusalem.

Where did Abu Dhaim get the rifle? Probably from Shimon Peres.


At 6:45 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There are mysteries, Carl. How did the yeshiva hire an Arab for one of the most sensitive job in Israel - driving around Jewish children to school? How did he obtain an M-16 and such a large quantity of ammo? Where did he receive military training? How did it not occur to Mercaz HaRav heads their yeshiva might be the target for a possible terrorist attack and not take sufficient precautions. And there are many more questions in need of answers.

But I think the one thing that stands out in the event that even if Israel gives back every single inch of Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, the morning after, Israel will wake up to a million hostile Arabs within her borders. The peace process may succeed in dismembering Israel but won't do is eliminate Arab hatred of Jews.


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