Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sources: Amnesty granted to entire terrorist group


Omert will murder us all with these policies!
Israeli PM pledges to refrain from operations against most-active West Bank jihadists
Posted: July 17, 2007
4:41 p.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2007

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (
JERUSALEM – Officials from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office told Palestinian negotiators the entire leadership of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group is now immune from Israeli anti-terror operations, senior Palestinian officials told WND.

The Brigades – the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization – took responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years. Statistically, the Brigades carried out more anti-Israel terror attacks emanating from the West Bank since 2005 than any other group, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Earlier this week, Olmert granted amnesty to a list of 178 Fatah militants that WND reported comprise the senior leadership of Fatah's declared military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

There are still about 206 Fatah fighters, mostly Brigades members, who haven't yet officially received amnesty. Some of the 206 are senior Brigades commanders, but most are mid-level militants.

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Israeli security officials said amnesty wasn't granted to some of the 206 militants because of the militants' connections to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. But seven senior terrorists granted amnesty by Olmert this week previously told WND on the record they serve as conduits for their terror group's relationship with Hezbollah.

Israeli diplomatic officials told WND Olmert's office agreed to discuss granting amnesty to the entire leadership of the remaining 206 militants after a three-month trial period in which the 178 Fatah fighters already pardoned demonstrate they will refrain from terrorism.

But a senior Palestinian official told WND Olmert already pledged to the PA de facto amnesty to all Fatah militants, including the entire Brigades organization. The official said negotiations were being conducted to make that immunity official.

"We were directly told Fatah fighters will not be targeted regardless of official amnesty," the Palestinian official said, speaking on condition his name be withheld. "While it's true the Israelis asked for a three-month trial, we are talking on Monday about an immediate pardoning of the remaining fighters."

Olmert granted the 178 Fatah terrorists amnesty as part of a series of gestures to bolster Abbas in the West Bank after Hamas in June overtook all Fatah security compounds in the Gaza Strip and effectively expelled Fatah from Gaza.

At a meeting today, Olmert presented the Palestinian leader with more gestures, including a list of 256 Palestinian prisoners who will be released in the coming days from Israeli jails.

The list of prisoners slated for release includes Abdel Rahim Malouh, the second-in-command of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, which has carried out scores of suicide bombings and airplane hijackings. The group was accused of assassinating Israel's tourism minister in 2001.

Israeli officials announced the list doesn't include prisoners who directly murder, but WND has learned some slated for release participated in the planning of suicide bombings.

Olmert grants official amnesty to senior terror leaders

Olmert's office this weekend issued documents for 178 Fatah fugitives to sign, pledging their resignation from any so-called paramilitary organizations and promising to refrain from terrorism. The wanted militants also must spend a week in a PA holding area and must restrict their movements to the area in which they reside for three months. After a three-month period, they can move freely throughout the West Bank. Since most wanted militants have been confined to their residential areas the past few years anyway due to the threat of Israeli operations, the deal effectively grants them freedom of movement for the first time.

In exchange, Israel will not conduct anti-terror operations to capture the wanted militants.

The list of terrorists already granted amnesty includes the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades overall chief; Brigades chiefs in several West Bank cities; the Brigades cell that sent a suicide bomber to Tel Aviv in April 2006 that killed 10 civilians, including an American teenager, Daniel Wultz; and the Brigades perpetrator of a shooting attack in December 2000 that killed Israeli nationalist leader Benyamin Kahane.

The list obtained by WND of some of the senior Fatah fighters that Olmert granted amnesty to includes:

* Ala Senakreh, overall chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank. Based in the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank town of Nablus, Senakreh's cell, along with the Islamic Jihad terror group, is suspected of directing all suicide bombings in Israel in 2005 and 2006.

Among the suicide bombings Senakreh is suspected of personally directing is an attack that killed two people and wounded 33 others in a crowded bus station in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood.

Senakreh doubles as an officer on Fatah's Preventative Security Services. He will continue his duties as a Fatah security officer.

Senakreh yesterday told WND he hasn't yet signed the amnesty agreement because his brother, also a Brigades member, wasn't among those offered immunity. He said Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat is asking Olmert's office to grant Senakreh's brother immunity.

* Kamal Ranam, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Ramallah. Ranam's cell is suspected of carrying out dozens of anti-Israel shooting attacks, including three Israeli highway shootings in June 2006 – one that killed a 35-year-old Israeli Arab on a major West Bank highway on the outskirts of Jerusalem; a second that wounded an Israeli two days later; and a shooting of a busload of schoolgirls June 19, 2006. Israeli security officials say the perpetuators of the attack that killed the Israeli Arab likely mistook the victim for a Jew.

Ranam signed the amnesty agreement Sunday.

* Zacharia Zbeidi, chief of the Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin. Most suicide bombers to infiltrate Israel since September 2000 originated in Jenin, some were sent by the Brigades. Zbeidi is suspected of directing at least two suicide bombings and scores of deadly shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Zbeidi told WND he signed the amnesty agreement.

* Abu Yousuf, a senior leader of the Brigades in Ramallah, is suspected of shooting at Israeli forces operating in Ramallah and carried out a shooting attack in northern Samaria in December 2000 that killed Kahane, leader of the nationalist Kahane Chai organization.

After the Kahane murder, Yousuf was extended refuge by Yasser Arafat to live in the late Palestinian leader's Ramallah compound, widely known as the Muqata. Yousuf still lives in the compound, to which U.S. assault rifles have previously been delivered as part of aid to Abbas. Yousuf doubles as an officer in Abbas' Force 17 security detail.

Yousuf told WND he signed the amnesty agreement. He said he will continue serving in Force 17.

* Nasser Abu Aziz, the No. 2 of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Senakreh's main deputy. Aziz's group is suspected of directing all suicide bombings in Israel the past three years together with Islamic Jihad, including the Tel Aviv attack that killed Wultz and nine others.

Although Islamic Jihad and the Brigades took joint credit for the Tel Aviv attack, Brigades sources told WND their group directed the suicide bombing, supplying the bomber and infiltrating him into Tel Aviv. The sources said Islamic Jihad provided the explosives belt as a symbolic act so the terror group could also take part in the attack.

Wultz, who was vacationing in Israel from Florida, was gravely injured in the bombing and died of his wounds about two weeks later. Wultz's father, Tuly, was also injured in the bombing.

At the time of the bombing, Aziz, in a WND interview, called Wultz's death a "gift from Allah" .

Aziz yesterday told WND he is one of the few Brigades leaders not signing the amnesty agreement, saying the document is "too good to be true."

"I am sure this is part of an Israeli conspiracy against our fighters," Aziz said.

Senior Olmert spokeswoman Miri Eisin would neither confirm nor deny the list of terror suspects granted amnesty obtained by WND.

"I do not know the list of names but all included will have to renounce terrorism," Eisin said.

Eisin said Olmert granted the terror suspects amnesty "as part of developing a relationship with Abbas and the PA government in the realm of security, economy and many other levels."

"The Israeli government is committed to cooperating with the PA just as the PA committed to international principles, and they are already taking concrete steps on their side. We hope this (amnesty) deal adds to the momentum to bring about a Palestinian state living securely alongside Israel," said Eisin.

Asked whether Olmert is willing to add more terrorists – such as Brigades chief Senakreh's brother – to the amnesty list, Eisin replied, "there is always a possibility that more who want to renounce terror may be added. We are willing to address this issue."

Multiple media reports yesterday stated as part of their amnesty agreement, Fatah fighters were turning their weapons in to the PA in exchange for cash payments.

Brigades members contacted by WND said about a dozen of the nearly 200 wanted militants handed in their personal weapons but said those who did are keeping assault rifles issued to them by Fatah as part of the Fatah security forces.

Asked if he will continue participating in attacks against Israel, one top Brigades leader speaking on condition his name be withheld since he just signed an amnesty agreement, replied, "If Israel doesn't give us a reason to carry out attacks then why should we? But if we see the Israelis are looking to escalate things in the West Bank, the resistance will continue."

Brigades No. 2 Aziz told WND even though senior leaders were signing amnesty agreements, the Brigades is not disbanding.

"We have conditions. We don't trust the Israelis. The Brigades will not disband. We are ready to negotiate a deal of amnesty but we won't sell out our principals and arms."

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