Jerusalem – Dozens of operatives from various terrorist organizations underwent military training in Iran, according to an indictment handed down on Monday by the Beer Sheva District Court against a resident of Gaza.

Alaa Abu Madif, 30, belongs to the Abu el-Rish Battalions. Its directors decided to send him to a military base in Syria, where he would undergo intensive military training that would enable him to perpetrate terror attacks against soldiers and civilians. Abu Madif and several dozen operatives of various terrorist groups traveled from Gaza to Cairo and flew to Damascus several days later. In the Syrian capital, they were told that within several days they would be flown to Iran, where, for a month, they underwent training on military bases. Two Syrian officers, who introduced themselves as military trainers, were in charge of teaching the group.

Upon his return to Gaza, Abu Madif began to teach methods of detonation and shooting at IDF troops to others. He was involved in firing Qassam rockets at the Kissufim crossing point, filmed their launch with a video camera and was also involved in planning large terror attacks on IDF bases in the area. He was also involved in firing rockets on Sderot and was supposed to carry out a suicide attack together with two of his comrades.

Abu Madif and his two fellow terrorists had already filmed their last testaments on video, but a short while before the attack was to take place, a high-ranking figure in the organization decided that it would not be carried out.

Abu Madif confessed to the charges against him. As stated, on Monday, the Israeli district attorney of the southern region handed down an indictment charging him with, among other things, undergoing forbidden training, membership in a terrorist group, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a crime.

PA demands military as part of West Bank state

The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demanded the right to establish a military after independence.

Palestinian negotiators have relayed a demand that any Palestinian state would be allowed to establish an army and air force, with their military deployed along the borders with Israel and Jordan.

“If we are to become an independent state, then we are responsible for our own security,” a PA source said. “This has been our position.”

The PA demand was relayed by chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, a former Palestinian prime minister. This position marked a departure of earlier understandings that any Palestinian state be demilitarized.

Mr. Qurei submitted the Palestinian demand for a military during negotiations with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Jerusalem on Sunday. Sources at the Israel Foreign Ministry said Ms. Livni was taken aback by Mr. Qurei’s position and thought he meant that the new Palestinian state would create a strong police force.

“Livni was very upset by the Palestinian demand and saw this as a violation of previous commitments,” an Israeli official said.

The Israeli official said the PA has hardened its positions during the latest U.S.-sponsored negotiations for a Palestinian state by 2009. The official said Mr. Qurei was supported by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who determined that the Palestinian state must not be inferior to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, which has established a 10,000-man military.

David Bedein can be reached at [email protected].
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