TEL AVIV Ñ Syria has been pressured to block Iranian
aid to the ruling Fatah movement.
Israeli intelligence sources said the U.S. has pressed Syria to stop the
flow of Iranian and Hizbullah aid to Fatah cells in the northern West Bank.
They said the Fatah cells were the last holdout in the ceasefire
by Palestinian insurgency groups.
Scores of Fatah insurgents in the areas of Jenin and Nablus have been
receiving Iranian funding via Hizbullah, the sources said. They said the
insurgents broke away from Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and formed cells directed
and financed by Iran.
[On late Monday, Israeli authorities said a Palestinian suicide bomber
blew himself up in the northern Israeli community of Kfar Yaabetz, Middle East Newsline reported. Two
people were killed in the attack for which Islamic Jihad claimed
The sources said that over the last two weeks the United States has
pressured Syria to stop the flow of Iranian funds from Beirut and Damascus
to Fatah cells in the northern West Bank. They said that the drop in Iranian
funds could lead to a drop in insurgency attacks.
Syria has relayed its efforts to the United States in a move meant to
reconcile with Washington. The sources said the regime of Syrian President
Bashar Assad has demanded recognition and participation in international
efforts to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, so far limited to the
Last week, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Sadr discussed U.S.
pressure on Beirut and Damascus in a trip to those two cities. Western
diplomatic sources said Sadr sought to maintain the strong relations with
Lebanon and Syria.
At the same time, the sources said, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been
raising money and recruiting members to bolster their ranks. They said the
effort has also been establishing laboratories and missile production
facilities for Islamic insurgents.