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Monday, March 14, 2011

Israel reported to have made arrests in Itamar slaughter (updated)

From Aaron Klein at WorldNetDaily:

Two members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' official security forces were arrested in conjunction with this past weekend's bloody massacre in which five family members were brutally stabbed to death inside their home in the Jewish village of Itamar, WND has learned.

The names of the apprehended suspects will be released to the Israeli media within hours but were revealed to WND by security officials working on the murder.

Two cousins are now in Israeli custody and are suspected in the slayings. Ahmed Awad is an officer in Abbas' Preventative Security Services in the northern West Bank city of Nablis. Iyad Awad is an officer in Abbas' General Intelligence services in Ramallah.

Both the Preventative and General Intelligence services of Fatah are armed, trained and funded by the U.S.

It was not immediately clear whether the duo were arrested for planning the attack or for personally carrying out the murders.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the "military wing" of Abbas' Fatah party, at first released a pamphlet taking responsibility for the attack and then quickly retracted the statement.

Many Brigades members, including much of the group's senior leadership, double as members of Fatah's U.S.-backed security forces.

Top sources in the Brigades leadership in the northern West Bank city of Nablus confirmed to WND that members of the Fatah group planned and helped to carry out the attack.

The sources claimed the attack was not sanctioned by the Fatah leadership but was planned by Brigades members who were acting on their own.

Also, the sources said the actual perpetrators of the attack were sleeper cells from Hamas, while the Brigades leaders planned the attack, provided logistical support and aided in the Hamas agents' escape.

If accurate, this would demonstrate unusual cooperation between Hamas and Fatah rivals.
Klein has the best contacts within the terror organizations of any non-Arab reporter, so this is almost certainly a solid report.

(h/t Alex S)

UPDATE: Nothing has materialized in the 12 or so hours since the WND story came out, and The Muqata says that it is not true. (h/t Challah Hu Akbar)