TEL AVIV – Ongoing violence in the West Bank combined with recent initiatives by Iran and its proxy terrorist group Hezbollah may motivate Fatah members to resume their armed struggle against Israel, a senior Palestinian security source told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The source said that members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, an armed group loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, are contemplating the possibility of carrying out shooting attacks and planting bombs despite a 2007 decommission agreement with Israel, whereby they were required to hand over their arms to the PA’s security forces.
“A few activists from Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin were summoned for interviews [with the security services],” the source said. “Two of them have been detained.”
Despite the security forces’ firm hand, the source said, “an escalation in violence is likely given the Palestinians’ financial distress, the absence of a diplomatic horizon, and prodding rhetoric by foreign players such as Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah, and even Hamas in Gaza.”
These “foreign players,” he said, are seeking to pressure the biggest movement in the Palestinian territories into a conflict with Israel.
“We are very disappointed in Israel’s reluctance to pursue any significant diplomatic initiative, be it John Kerry’s, the French government’s, and others, but we nevertheless refuse to sacrifice everything we’ve achieved in terms of security since 2007,” he added.
The official’s claim about Israel’s reluctance to negotiate is inaccurate. It was PA President Mahmoud Abbas who walked away from negotiations despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking the unusual steps of freezing Jewish settlement construction and releasing terrorists as a gesture to jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian talks.
The official continued, “Iran’s proposal to pay thousands of dollars to the families of the victims of the last few months is meant to signal to their former collaborators in the West Bank that doing Tehran’s bidding will pay off.”
“Iran couldn’t care less about the families,” the source said. “All they want is to stir violence with their money. They want to raise the flames, and we won’t allow it to happen.”
He went on to say that Fatah operatives who are former members of the Al Aqsa Brigades have been persuaded not to play along with Iran’s efforts.
“We do our best to clamp down on their rearmament, and on any signs of collaboration with foreign agents,” he said. “What we fear most is a single attack that would inspire others to follow suit.”
Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammed Fathali, said on Wednesday that Iran would give $30,000 to families of terrorists whose homes were demolished by Israel and $7,000 to the families of slain terrorists.
Breitbart Jerusalem reported on Monday that the PA demanded Iran transmit the funds promised to the families of Palestinian terrorists through official channels and not award it directly to the families.
Last month, Breitbart Jerusalem reported on an attempt by Jawad Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, to establish a terrorist cell in the West Bank.
In December, Israel’s Shin Bet security service announced it had arrested members of two large Hamas terrorist cells in the West Bank planning mass casualty suicide bombings and other attacks inside Israel.