Diskin: Hamas focusing on improving West Bank terror infrastructure

By MARK WEISS
September 9, 2007 22:44
1 minute read.

Hamas is trying to improve its infrastructure in the West Bank with the aim of carrying out terror attacks against Israel, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin told the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. Diskin told the ministers that terrorism in not down, but actually on the rise, and that Hamas was making great efforts to export terrorism from Gaza to the West Bank. He also said that Hamas was placing an emphasis on smuggling explosives from Egypt into Gaza. Last week Israeli forces uncovered a Hamas bomb factory, including explosive devices that have not been seen before. Reflecting Diskin's warnings, three pipe bombs were found Sunday in the possession of a Palestinian youth who arrived at the Beit Iba checkpoint, northwest of Nablus. IDF sources reported that the bombs were intended to be used in a terror attack in Tel Aviv. Sappers defused the bombs and the youth was transferred to security forces for questioning. The defense establishment's level of alert is at it highest ahead of the High Holy Days. IDF sources said all terror organizations active in the West Bank - Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - were plotting to carry out terror attacks in Israel and were sometimes cooperating with each other. The Palestinian Authority security forces have closed down 103 Hamas-affiliated institutions in the West Bank, Diskin reported. Israel believes such actions, although a positive development, remain sporadic and are only partially effective. Diskin added that in Gaza, the smuggling by terrorists from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai has increased since Hamas took control of the Strip in June. Earlier Sunday, Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The rocket landed in one of the communities in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. No casualties or damage were reported. Four mortar shells were fired into the Kerem Shalom crossing area, south of the Gaza Strip, but caused no casualties or damage. Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i said that the Sufa Crossing into the Gaza Strip would be closed, it was reported Sunday. Defense officials cited too many people positioned at the crossing which caused confusion, saying that there was no need for Kibbutz Sufa to operate such a dangerous terminal, Channel 10 reported. In a separate incident, Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli cars on a road north of Hebron. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.


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