Although Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and PA Intelligence Chief Tawfiq Tirawi confirmed on Sunday reports that a Palestinian attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been foiled recently, a spokesman for Fatah denied the report, saying it has been "falsified" by Israel.
"This is a false story meant to undermine the efforts of the Fatah movement and President Mahmoud Abbas to reach a just peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians," Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdul Rahman said Sunday.
"I call on all media outlets to disregard the false Israeli version, because there are clear political Israeli interests behind this falsification," he stated.
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the cabinet Sunday that on June 6, a group of gunmen affiliated with Fatah attempted to hit Olmert's convoy as it made its way from Jerusalem to Jericho for a meeting with Palestinian President Abbas.
PM Fayyad confirmed the report, and added that "We are studying the incident and plan to do our best to restore the order in the region…We will draw all the possible lessons so that a similar incident does not repeat itself in the future."
Palestinian Intelligence Chief Tirawi said that several people were still being investigated in the affair, but stressed that this should not serve as cause to sabotage the negotiations between Israel and the PA on a declaration of principles ahead of the Mideast peace conference in Annapolis.
Meanwhile, Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades denied Sunday that its members have been involved in any such incident, and restated the organization's commitment to President Abbas and the upcoming peace conference.