Palestinian Jihad Islami, Hamas, Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah leaders planning joint escalation of terror attacks

Possibility of Mega-Terror attack on scale of 9/11 attacks cannot be ruled out

by DEBKAfile Intelligence

21 October 2003

DEBKAfile’s military sources: Israel’s air blitz over Gaza Monday timed for first-time “terror summit” of Palestinian Jihad Islami and Hamas leaders attended by Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah representatives that took place in Damascus – not Lebanon as some reported.

IDF was warning all present of consequences should Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and Jihad Islami leader Ramadan Shalah carry out resolution to launch first joint campaign of suicide attacks and mass-casualty strikes in Israel.

Hizballah leader Nasrallah is revealed by DEBKAfile sources as cutting short prisoner exchange deal with Israel so as to join fellow terrorists in escalation of violence.

Ten Palestinians reported killed, dozens injured in series of Israeli air force attacks over Gaza Monday night.

Israeli sources report two armed Palestinians killed in attempt to slip suicide bomber over border fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Their companions retreated to Nuseyrat camp in car which took missiles from Israeli helicopters. Car was mobbed when it blew up accounting for high Palestinian casualty figure. Israeli aircraft also returned to bomb missile store damaged earlier in residential district and building near home of Jihad Islami leader Shami

Palestinians claim Israeli air raid targeted Hamas commander Imad Akal. Some sources say he and four bodyguards died in attack, others that he survived.

Earlier, Palestinian Qassam missile aimed at Kibbutz Saad in Israeli Negev, ninth in 24 hours.

It was fired after first three Israeli air strikes against Palestinian targets in Gaza City Monday killed senior Hamas operative Khaled Masri and two others, damage missile factory and weapons store. Twelve Palestinians injured.

Sharon: ME Roadmap is only valid program. Any deviation aids enemy, he said in assault on “Geneva understandings” initiative. Opening winter session of Knesset, PM predicted Middle East stalemate would be over within months, promised to accelerate work on defense barrier.

Powell asks to stop over at Sharm el-Sheikh to see Mubarak on way back from visit Tuesday and Wednesday to Nairobi to help close deal ending 20-year old Sudanese civil war. DEBKAfile reports Nairobi talks between Sudanese vice president Ali Osman Mohammad Taha and Sudan People’s Liberation Army leader John Garang near successful conclusion.

Egyptian police ban Nasserist-Communist demonstration scheduled for Wednesday outside the Abadin Palace – first trial of strength faced by Mubarek regime in 21 year rule. Demonstrators demand democratic reforms and limitations on presidential powers.

Most Saudi armed forces take part in major air-naval exercise begun last week in northern part of kingdom near Jordanian, Israeli borders. Air maneuvers including F-155 fighter jets directed by E-3A AWACs from King Faisal Air Base at Tabuk. Air defense systems and fast attack naval craft participating.

Jordan’s king Abdullah appoints his chief of court Faisal al-Fayez prime minister in place of Ali Abul-Ragheb who resigned after three years

DEBKAfile reveals: Sunday night's ambush in which three Israeli soldiers were shot dead, a fourth injured, outside Ofra near Ain Yabrud village on West Bank, was executed by Jemal Tirawi and paid for directly by Yasser Arafat.

Palestinian perpetrator is kinsman of Palestinian intelligence chief and al Aqsa Brigades founder Tawfiq Tirawi who lives under Arafat’s protection from Israeli capture in Ramallah HQ.

DEBKAfile also learns: Top Palestinian army officer Gen. Nasser Yousuf, who was PM Qureia's choice as interior minister, has fled to Europe to stay clear of Arafat’s plot to convert Palestinian-Israel conflict into second Iraq

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