Three Israelis killed in a Palestinian drive-by shooting Sunday - Jordan to enter West Bank?
October 16, 2005
Israeli roadblocks have been restored to West Bank roads and Palestinian private cars banned after two deadly Palestinian Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades drive-by shootings.
They were hit when a car full of armed Palestinians sprayed the Gush Etzion intersection hitch-hiking post. Forty minutes later, gunmen in a second car opened fire on an Israeli car at Eily east of Ariel. The driver was seriously hurt. One attack was the work of the Masoud Ayad team, the second, of the Yasser Arafat team from Nablus. Hamas-Hebron provided the cars and the weapons. Later Sunday night, Jihad Islami leader Khaled al Betash threatened a third terrorist attack in revenge for the liquidation of a senior operative Nirad Khanem near Jenin by an undercover border police unit.
The West Bank roadblocks restored now were dismantled three months ago as Israeli confidence-building concessions to Mahmoud Abbas. The IDF is also considering restoring the military blockade of Bethlehem, source of the Gush Etzion killer squad.
DEBKAfile adds: As soon as he heard of the attacks, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon ordered the withdrawal of all the concessions extended to bolster Abu Mazen’s grip on government as too costly in Israeli lives. Abu Mazen heard the news in Jordanian king Abdullah’s palace in Amman, where they were discussing how to persuade Israel to accept the entry of Jordanian forces to the West Bank. Abbas uttered no word of condemnation. Ahead of his White House talks on October 20, the Palestinian leader is cultivating the weak man posture to back up his appeal for urgent help to save him from collapse. When he is asked what kind of help, his reply his ready: Make Israel release the popular Fatah terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, sentenced to life by an Israeli court for multiple murder, to run alongside Abbas in the January elections and assure the Fatah of victory. Abbas has thus reversed his strategy: instead of striving to show the Americans he is capable of subduing Palestinian terror, he is embracing the threat of violence to squeeze further concessions from Israel.