“RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas are trying to recruit Palestinian militants for attacks on Israelis in order to sabotage Middle East peace efforts, senior Palestinian officials said on Wednesday.”
I expect that there will be a lot of activity and that there will certainly be groups who try to throw a wrench into the works.
“The accusations, a day after Israel and the Palestinians announced a cease-fire, echoed charges from the Jewish state. The officials declined to be identified.”
Of course they refused, they face execution if they reveal themselves.
“Hizbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, said in a statement no such contacts had taken place, and a senior Palestinian security adviser said he had received assurances that Hizbollah would abide by the truce.”
Does anyone expect Hizbollah to say otherwise. I don’t believe for a moment that they want the truce, but they are politically savvy and will be careful about public opinion.
“A top Palestinian official said security services were investigating Hizbollah funding for militants in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Another said links were spotted via intercepted communications.
“We know that Hizbollah has been trying to recruit suicide bombers in the name of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to wage attacks that would sabotage the truce,” an official said about an armed group of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah (news – web sites) faction.
Another official said intercepted e-mail communications and bank transactions suggested Hizbollah had raised its cash offers to militants, but it was unclear if this reflected a heightened desire to see violence flare up or a dearth of recruits.
“Now they are willing to pay $100,000 for a whole operation (suicide bombing) whereas in the past they paid $20,000, then raised it to $50,000,” the second official told Reuters.”
What this says to me is that there is a real need to cut off the funding. Turn off the tap and you’ll find fewer recruits.
“Israel has long accused Hizbollah, whose attacks helped end its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon in 2000, of bankrolling a Palestinian revolt that erupted later that year.
Hizbollah has acknowledged some support for Palestinian militant groups. Palestinian officials blamed a recent attack in the West Bank city of Nablus on the guerrilla group.”
There is confirmation, there is cooperation between the groups.
“Representatives of al-Aqsa Brigades, a disparate coalition of gunmen, denied getting help from the Shi’ite guerrillas.
“We respect Hizbollah but Palestinian resistance is capable of leading its struggle alone and is able to support itself by itself,” said Abu Qusai, Gaza spokesman for the faction.”
No one wants to appear weak, every group is going to claim that they have incredible support for themselves and their actions.