Sunday, December 1, 2013

Al-Qaeda offshoot claims Judea and Samaria (West Bank) foothold after Israeli forces kill 3 of its members

Al-Qaeda now freely operates in the Arab-occupied Judea and Samaria.
(The Telegraph) A radical jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda has said it is operating in the West Bank, supporting Israel's assertions that three militants shot dead in the Palestinian territory in recent days were hardline Salafists intent on carrying out "terror attacks".

"By the will of God Almighty, the global jihadi doctrine has reached the bank of pride, the West Bank, planting its foothold after all attempts to thwart its presence," said a statement by a group called Majles Shura al-Mujahideen [Holy Warriors' Assembly] posted on an Islamist website.

Condemning the on-going peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, the group added: "We call on every sincere person to cut off what is called 'negotiations', which causes one's nose to turn away with its foul stench of collaboration. We are serious about fighting the aggression against religion by the blaspheming Jews and the hypocritical collaborators."

The statement came after the Israeli military said three Palestinians it shot dead near Hebron on November 26 were members of a Salafist cell planning attacks and kidnappings.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Israeli army, called the cell's discovery the "first substantial indication" of violent activity by jihadi Salafis in the West Bank.

Two of the men were shot dead when they opened fire at Israeli troops who tried to arrest them after shooting out the tyres of their car, the army said. Handguns and explosives were reportedly found in the vehicle. The third man initially escaped but was later killed in a hide-out several miles away.

Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence service, said the men belonged to a cell that was preparing explosive charges and kidnapping attempts of Israeli and figures connected with the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), which has limited control over the West Bank.

Thousands of mourners attended the three men's funerals, which were followed by clashes between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and Israeli forces firing tear gas.