Aksa Brigades threatens US, Europe

"We will strike at the economic and civilian interests of these countries."

al aksa 88 (photo credit: )
al aksa 88
(photo credit: )
The Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, on Monday threatened to strike at US and European interests in response to international sanctions on the Palestinian Authority. The threat, the first of its kind, came as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to hold talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin on the severe financial crisis in the PA territories. Moreover, the threat by Abbas's Fatah party came as Palestinians marked the 58th anniversary of the nakba, or catastrophe (the secular anniversary of Israel's independence). "We won't remain idle in the face of the siege imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel, the US and other countries," said a leaflet issued by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip. "We will strike at the economic and civilian interests of these countries, here and abroad." The leaflet added: "Let the entire world know that we won't succumb in the face of the policy of blackmail, siege and starvation. In the past we did not capitulate in the face of the policy of assassinations, detentions and air raids." The group also urged the heads of Arab and Palestinian banks to resist US and Israeli pressure and to agree to transfer funds from Arab and Islamic countries to the PA. Another armed group affiliated with Fatah, the Abu Rish Brigades, threatened to launch a new intifada unless the international community agreed to fund the PA. "This will be a merciless intifada that will destroy everything," said Abu Haroon, a spokesman for the group in the Gaza Strip. "We will plan and carry out more martyrdom attacks inside the Green Line regardless of the price and effort," he warned. "Those who are imposing the sanctions on the Palestinians will soon regret their decision." Abu Haroon, who was speaking at a rally marking the anniversary of the nakba in Gaza City, accused the US administration and some European and Arab countries of "acting as if they were receiving instructions from the Zionist Knesset." Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip to mark Nakba Day. Many carried old keys as symbols of the right of return for refugees to their original homes inside Israel. In a speech broadcast on Palestine TV, Abbas urged Hamas to renounce violence and respect peace deals with Israel. He also warned Israel against taking unilateral measures that would fuel extremism. Abbas said the Palestinians should not be satisfied with fiery speeches and slogans that could bring international isolation. He said such rhetoric reinforced Israel's contention that there is no Palestinian partner in peace efforts. He urged the Israelis to come together to make this year a year of peace. "I tell our neighbors that we want to make a just and lasting peace with them and want a better future for our and their children," he said. "Let's sit together at the negotiating table, away from dictation and unilateral solutions. Stop saying there is no Palestinian partner; the partner is there, and we extend our hands to make peace through negotiations only." Abbas called on the Quartet to initiate a call for holding an international peace conference based on international resolutions and the road map. "We are eager to see our dreams become true, and to live in our free and democratic Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said. Hamas, on the other hand, said in a statement marking Nakba Day that there would be no compromise on the right of return for all refugees. Hamas also emphasized the Palestinians' right to pursue the fight against Israel until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.