RAMALLAH Ñ A jailed Palestinian leader is said to be directing joint
insurgency operations against Israel.
Palestinian sources said Marwan Barghouti, the jailed West Bank leader
of the ruling Fatah movement, has been directing an insurgency campaign
against Israel from his jail cell. The sources said Barghouti has been in
constant contact with Fatah, Hamas and other insurgents for an escalation of
attacks against Israel.
"He's on the phone every day with a range of Palestinian operatives,
relaying orders and money," a Palestinian security source said. "He has
supporters, particularly in Nablus."
The sources said Barghouti intends to demonstrate to his Israeli captors
that his detention would only increase insurgency attacks. They said
Barghouti has suggested that he could help end the Palestinian war once he
On Monday, an Israeli court sentenced Barghouti's chief aide, Nasser
Awis, to 14 life terms plus 50 years. Awis, co-founder of the Al Aqsa
Martyrs Brigade, was convicted of directing a series of attacks that killed
14 Israelis in 2001 and 2002.
Over the last 10 days, Fatah has carried out several suicide bombings in
Israel. Two of the suicide bombings were joint operations -- with Hamas and
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The sources said Barghouti's orders and telephone conversations have
been arranged by his nephew, Ahmed, who is a cellmate of Barghouti in
Beersheba prison. They said Ahmed is the Fatah leader's key liasion with the
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Nablus and ensures his contacts with colleagues
and outside the Fatah movement.
The jailed Fatah leader has rejected the new government led by Prime
Minister Mahmoud Abbas. Barghouti said Abbas would be unable to disarm the
On Monday, Palestinian sources said Israeli troops arrested a senior
Palestinian Authority security officer. The officer was identified as Col.
Suleiman Abu Motlaq, a senior official of the Preventive Security Apparatus
in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Hizbullah has begun deployment of new artillery along the
Lebanese border with Israel.
Israeli military sources said the artillery was stationed in the central
sector of southern Lebanon. They said Hizbullah brought several artillery
batteries to the border earlier this year in an attempt to increase its
deterrence against Israel.
On Monday, Hizbullah used its new artillery for an attack on Israeli
positions in the eastern sector of the Israeli-Lebanese border near the
disputed Shebaa plateau. Nobody was injured in the Hizbullah attack.
Hizbullah deployed several batteries of artillery and anti-aircraft
artillery along the Lebanese-Israeli border in March. The weapons include
122 mm and 107 mm Katyusha rockets, 120 mm mortars, 57 mm anti-aircraft
guns, Sagger and TOW anti-tank missiles.
Iran has been Hizbullah's chief weapons supplier and trainer. But
military sources said Syria has provided Hizbullah with new short-range
rockets and other munitions as part of an alliance between Damascus and the