Scene of murder: Hadera terror attack
Nadav Hershkovitz
Officials: Orders come from Damascus
In response to terror attack in Hadera, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem say 'decision to carry out attacks originate in Damascus, carried out by local terror cells'

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem, speaking in response to the terror attack in Hadera, have said that the instructions to carry out the attacks come from Damascus and are carried out through local terror cells.


Following the Qassam rocket attacks on Monday evening, diplomatic and military sources also said that the Islamic Jihad is receiving its orders from its central command in Damascus.


The sources say that the attack is not revenge, as the terror organization is attempting to portray them, "but rather a matter of clear strategic policy. It's part of the decision by terror groups to transfer their center of activities to Judea and Samaria since the disengagement. Not a single one of them buys the strategy of Abu Mazen, according to which an agreement with the terror organizations can be reached via dialogue and negotiations," said a source in Jerusalem.


Responses to the attack have flooded in from across the political spectrum.


Minister Haim Ramon called for the assassination of Islamic Jihad members. "This is a small organization," he told Ynet, "it is made up of a few hundred members. Their identities are known to the Authority and there is no reason not to act against them. I know that the order for this attack came from Damascus. I know that that this organization operates within the territory of the PA, and the PA must stop them immediately."


Knesset Member Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said that the Islamic Jihad are "harvesting the fruits of the disengagement." Knesset Member Nissan Slominski (National Religious Party) attacked the prime minister, saying: "Until when will the Russian roulette and the cold blooded murder of Israelis continue? Abu Mazen is proud of the fabricated calm and the Islamic Jihad is celebrating. Sharon has to fight terrorism and not deal with the funding of new ministers."


In reaction to the attack, Communications Minister Daliah Itzik cancelled her meeting with Palestinian communications minister, Sabari Sayidam, which was meant to be held in Tel Aviv. "We can't sit and talk with the Palestinian leadership… while innocent Israeli civilians are murdered by Palestinians. We expect the Palestinian Authority to start acting, to disarm the extremist terror organizations, and to prevent criminal attacks.


Knesset Member Aryeh Cohen (National Union) said: "I call on the prime minister and defense minister, who promised the Israeli nation an improved security situation after the disengagement, to resign."


He added sarcastically: "This is a revenge attack by a murdering terrorist who was in Israeli custody, and released because he didn't have blood on his hands."


Knesset Member Ran Cohen (Meretz-Yahad) blasted the attack, saying, "In order not to start a third intifada, Mahmoud Abbas must stop terror immediately and prove that he is different from Arafat. Likewise, Israeli leaders must not deceive the public. It should be said bravely that without diplomatic steps, a vacuum will be created into which terrorism will enter."


Diana Bahur-Nir, Ronny Sofer and Smadar Shiloni contributed to this report


First published: 26.10.05, 17:37
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