Fatah’s Military Arm, The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: We Have Fired Rockets Into Israel From Gaza – And WillContinue To Do So
As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud ‘Abbas voices opposition to the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza, which purport to belong to Fatah, are participating in the firing of these rockets. Several Brigades units have in recent days fired dozens of rockets into Israel, and have clarified in their communiqués that they will continue to fire them as part of waging jihad and that Palestine can only be liberated through sacrifice.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza have long been operating independently and disregarding the directives of the Fatah leadership. In 2012, Fatah’s Central Committee repudiated them, stating that the movement has not been operating armed units in Gaza for years. In the same year, the Gaza Brigades attempted to form one separate body that would be accepted by Fatah, but the attempt failed. In 2013, a Brigades commander declared that the Central Committee’s renunciation of the Brigades was of no interest to them, and that they continued to regard themselves as belonging to Fatah and as part of its military arm. Some Brigades members claim that their current firing of rockets into Israel is backed by some of Fatah’s institutions.
Below are a number of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades communiques on the firing of rockets into Israel:
The Brigades: “[Our] Martyrdom Units Are Ready To Oppose Any Ground Invasion By The Zionist Enemy”
On July 12, 2014, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades released a communiqué stating that dozens of rockets – Grads, 103s, and 107s – had been fired at communities in Israel by Brigades members between July 8 and July 12.
The communiqué added: “We stress that Fatah’s Central Committee, Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, and the regional Fatah leadership are supporting us, and they praised our Brigades’ efforts to attack the oppressing enemy. We are the fighting spirit of the fighting Palestinian people that supports the members of the resistance to the criminal occupation. The Brigades emphasize that their martyrdom (Khalil Al-Wazir) units are ready to oppose any ground invasion by the Zionist enemy.”
A Brigades subgroup, the ‘Abd Al-Qader Al-Husseini Brigades, announced that on July 10 it had fired rockets into Israel. Their communiqué stated: “The Martyr ‘Abd Al-Qader Al-Husseini Brigades continue on the path of their blessed jihad.”
On July 13, another Brigades subgroup, Jaysh Al-‘Asifa, announced that it had, together with the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, fired rockets at Israeli vehicles east of the Gaza Strip. Its announcement stated that the way that the way that the Brigades react to the occupation’s “crimes” against the people is by carrying out its jihad mission of firing rockets. “We are cleaving to the resistance option… There will be no tahdiya [calm] with this plundering enemy as long as it continues its aggression against Gaza.”
Yet another Brigades subgroup, the Units of the Martyr Nabil Mas’oud, reported on July 14 that its members had fired rockets into Israel on July 12. A Brigades communiqué stated: “We will continue the armed struggle against the Zionist enemy until it ceases its evil attack on our defenseless Palestinian people. Likewise, we emphasize to the enemy that our next response will be surprising and shocking. Revolution to victory! Bombing will be met with bombing and killing will be met with killing.”
The Brigades’ Engineering and Production Division and Groups of the Martyr Luay Qana’ took responsibility for the firing of two Al-Qa’qa rockets. Their announcement stated: “Liberation will come only via sacrifice, not via cries for help. We must resist the enemy by all possible means, and we have the right to develop our weaponry and our rockets in our war against the Israeli occupation, until all the occupied Palestinian lands are liberated.”
On July 15, the Brigades’ Nidal Al-‘Aamoudi Division reported that it had launched three rockets, writing in a communique: “We are continuing the path of struggle, for which there is no alternative… We will continue firing at the enemy’s ‘settlements’ everywhere [i.e. all communities in Israel]. We will never give up, and we will never renounce our path, whatever the cost.”
Fatah Member Praises Brigades For Following In The Footsteps Of Terrorist Commander
Fatah member Sami Abu Foda, a columnist for the Amad website, praised the Al-Aqsa Brigades for participating in the resistance against Israel and against its current actions in Gaza, and for following in the footsteps of Dalal Al-Mughrabi, the deputy commander of the deadly 1978 Coastal Road attack on an Israeli bus. He wrote: “Congratulations to all members of the courageous Palestinian resistance in all factions, national and Islamic.”