In Gaza, Abbas’s Fatah practices attacking IDF positions
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In Gaza, Abbas’s Fatah practices attacking IDF positions

Main Palestinian faction, which is committed to agreements with Israel, is also working on rocket development, commander says

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Masked Fatah operatives practice military skills during a drill in Gaza, March 6, 2015. (photo credit: Facebook)
Masked Fatah operatives practice military skills during a drill in Gaza, March 6, 2015. (photo credit: Facebook)

Fatah’s armed wing in Gaza carried out a military exercise Friday simulating the takeover and bombing of IDF positions, the Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen reported Sunday.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades ended their training course, named after deceased Fatah official Ziad Abu Ein, with a show of force including a military march over an Israeli flag and a shooting range with a poster of Israel Defense Forces Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee as the target.

During Operation Cast Lead, Fatah’s armed wing claimed responsibility for firing rockets at the Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, alongside Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Abul Abed, the commander of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Gaza, told al-Mayadeen that his men were not only bettering their combat skills but also improving their rocket launch capabilities.

Masked Fatah operatives practice military skills during a drill in Gaza, March 6, 2015 (photo credit: Facebook image)
Masked Fatah operatives practice military skills during a drill in Gaza, March 6, 2015 (photo credit: Facebook image)

“With regard to the development of rockets, there have been serious developments and serious experiments carried out daily,” Abul Abed said.

The training focused on physical exercise, combat skills, and Islamic doctrine, the TV report said.

Fatah, the movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which dominates the Palestinian security apparatus in the West Bank, declared its intention to halt security cooperation with Israel in response to the death of movement official Ziad Abu Ein in an altercation with IDF soldiers during a peaceful tree-planting protest in the West Bank last December.

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