Two members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ official security forces were arrested in conjunction with this past weekend’s bloody massacre in which five family members were brutally stabbed to death inside their home in the Jewish village of Itamar.
By Aaron Klein, WND
The names of the apprehended suspects will be released to the Israeli media within hours but were revealed to WND by security officials working on the murder.
Two cousins are now in Israeli custody and are suspected in the slayings. Ahmed Awad is an officer in Abbas’ Preventative Security Services in the northern WestBankcity of Nablis. Iyad Awad is an officer in Abbas’ General Intelligence services in Ramallah. Both the Preventative and General Intelligence services of Fatah are armed, trained and funded by the U.S.
Since the late 1990s, the U.S. has run training bases for PA militias. The U.S. also has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid and weapons to build up the PA militias.
Since 2007, the U.S. has stepped up its efforts at training the PA, including a new, advanced program for Palestinian police to train 500 to 600 cadets at a time at the American bases. The U.S. currently operates training bases for the PA police and other militias, such as Force 17 and the Preventative Security Services in the WestBankcity of Jericho and the Jordanian village of Giftlik.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the “military wing” of Abbas’ Fatah party, at first released a pamphlet taking responsibility for the attack and then quickly retracted the statement. Top sources in the Brigades leadership in the northern West Bank city of Nablus confirmed to WND that members of the Fatah group planned and helped to carry out the attack.
The sources claimed the attack was not sanctioned by the Fatah leadership but was planned by Brigades members who were acting on their own. Also, the sources said the actual perpetrators of the attack were sleeper cells from Hamas, while the Brigades leaders planned the attack, provided logistical support and aided in the Hamas agents’ escape.
The U.S. administration has labeled Fatah as a “negotiating partner” for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just two weeks ago, WND reported exclusively that members of Abbas’ Brigades, now classified by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, have been brandishing weapons publicly in recent days despite a disarmament agreement with Israel.
Israeli security officials told WND two weeks ago they fear the newfound militancy of the Brigades – evidenced by their publicly brandishing weapons – may be a strategic decision on the part of the PA to orient itself in a more extremist direction following President Obama’s championing of unrest that toppled pro-Western regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.
Brigadier General Munir al-Zoubi, commander of the Palestinian Presidential Guard and Lieutenant General Keith Dayton (right), the US security coordinator for Israel and the “Palestinian Authority” at a training facility in Jericho, West Bank
Palestinian Media Watch today reported on the rampant incitement to violence in the PA media in the days and weeks before yesterday’s attack. Just one day before the assault, Sabri Saidam, adviser to and under-secretary of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, delivered a speech in which he emphasized that weapons must be turned towards the “main enemy [Israel]” and that internal differences of opinion must be set aside.
In December, Abbas granted the relatives of a Palestinian terrorist $2,000 as part of a regular PA campaign that supports so-called “shahids” or “martyrs” who die while attacking Jews.