TEL AVIV ø Islamic Jihad has sought to establish a naval unit in an
effort to attack Israeli targets off the Mediterranean coast.
Israeli security sources said Jihad received $500,000 from Iran to
procure rubber boats for suicide and other operations against Israeli
targets. The Islamic insurgency group had planned to use the Gaza Strip as a
launching pad for these attacks.
Jihad, the sources said, intended to purchase lifeguard boats and train
insurgents to attack Israeli targets off the Mediterranean coast of the Gaza
Strip. Some of the boats were meant to have been outfitted with motors and
pose as fishing vessels to help evade Israel's navy.
The mastermind behind the Jihad effort was identified as Ali Hisi, a
resident of the Shati refugee camp also known as Abu Islam. Hisi wanted to
form a unit of Jihad vessels that could help facilitate attacks on Israeli
An investigation by the Israel Security Agency led to the arrest of a
Jihad agent who was ordered to help obtain the boats.
Iyad Abd Issa Alouan, 24, a fisherman from Khan Yunis, was arrested by
Israeli authorities on Nov. 19, 2003 and was said to have told interrogators
that he had been ordered to help carry out a sea-borne attack against an
An ISA statement said Alouan was ordered by Hisi to procure a lifeguard
boat that could be outfitted with a motor. Alouan was also asked to help
designate a target and train insurgents. He was told that the Jihad naval
unit would begin operations when other boats would be procured and
Jihad was said to have been given $500,000 to procure the boats and
weapons and secure a hideout. The statement said Alouan was arrested before
purchase the lifeguard boats.
"The security forces have reason to believe that Islamic Jihad will
continue to develop new methods in which to perpetrate terrorist attacks in
complete disregard of the possible consequences for the Palestinian
civilians in the Gaza Strip, especially the fishermen," the statement said.
In an unrelated development, a Palestinian Authority police commander
has escaped an assassination attempt. A PA statement said gunmen burst into
the office of Gaza police chief Brig. Gen. Ghazi Jabali on Thursday and
killed one person and wounded 10 others. Jabali was not injured.
"The group of outlaws tried to assassinate the head and founder of the
Palestinian police General Ghazi Jabali in his office," a police