Qaeda-linked group says takes foothold in West Bank, members killed
RAMALLAH, West Bank
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - An al Qaeda-linked group said three militants killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces last week were its members, and that their presence there showed that the Islamist network had taken root in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Al Qaeda has struggled to build up significant support in the West Bank, analysts say, and the Palestinian Authority that administers the area last week denied an Israeli report the men were linked to the organisation.
"By the will of God Almighty, the global jihadi doctrine has reached the bank of pride, the West Bank, planting its foothold after all attempts to thwart its presence," said a statement posted by Majles Shura al-Mujahideen, or Holy Warriors' Assembly, on an Islamist web forum.
Such groups have some grassroots support in the other Palestinian territory of Gaza, which is governed by the Islamist faction Hamas.
Israeli officials had said the three Palestinians killed on Tuesday belonged to an al Qaeda-linked cell plotting attacks.
They said the men were shot after opening fire at Israeli troops who tried to arrest them. The West Bank is policed by Israel in often close cooperation with the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority (PA).
On Sunday, PA security forces spokesman Adnan Damiri said he had no information about the presence of al Qaeda-linked groups in the West Bank but that Palestinian investigators were looking into Tuesday's incident.
Many Palestinians chafe at security ties between the PA and Israel given the lack of clear progress in U.S.-sponsored peace talks between the sides. Those negotiations are billed as leading to Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, a territory extensively settled by Israel, as well as in the Gaza Strip.
In its online statement, Majles Shura al-Mujahideen denounced the peacemaking efforts and threatened attacks on Israel and the PA.
"We call on every sincere person to cut off what is called 'negotiations', which causes one's nose to turn away with its foul stench of collaboration," the statement said. "We are serious about fighting the aggression against religion by the blaspheming Jews and the hypocritical collaborators."
(Reporting by Noah Browning and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Dan Williams and Andrew Heavens)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Scots spurn independence but impatient for new powers
- UPDATE 1-Microsoft lays off 2,100, axes Silicon Valley research
- Eight bodies found after attack on Guinea Ebola education team
- Obama nominates Indian-American as ambassador to India
- China not warlike, says Xi, as border standoff dominates India trip
Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout. Full Article
- Cheers and tears from winners and losers in Scotland referendum
- Glasgow bucks Scottish trend, votes for independence
- British PM Cameron says Scottish independence issue settled "for a generation"
- Scotland’s referendum stirs Kashmiri demands for vote on future
- Why Scotland looks like the canary in the independence coal mine
China separatism trial of Muslim scholar ends, verdict next week - lawyer . Full Article