Israeli sources close the Ariel Sharon, charged on Tuesday that the Syrian president, Bashar Asad is personally involved in the Netanya suicide bombing carried out by a Palestinian suicide bomber on Monday; five Israelis were killed, and forty were injured.
The Israeli ministerial political- security team held a meeting in Jerusalem, on Tuesday, to evaluate the situation and the issue of “weapon trafficking” from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.
The team said that “it adopts the statements of the Palestinian Authority” which accused Syria of giving direct orders to carry the Netanya bombing.
The Israeli government considers the leadership of the Islamic Jihad, present in Syria, responsible for operating the Islamic Jihad cells in the West Bank. A senior source at the Israeli government said that Israel intends practice pressure on western countries to pressure the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazin], in order to “counter terrorism,” from one side, and pressure Syria from the other.
Israeli online daily Ynetnews reported that the government of Abu Mazin “was warned” after the bombing not to ask for any easing of restrictions on border crossings and checkpoints in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Sharon’s advisor, Dov Weisglass, phoned Abu Mazin on Monday and informed him of Israel’s position. The Palestinian Authority also received phone calls from the assistance of the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and the assistance of Javier Solana, who heads the Foreign and security department at the European Union, in addition to several E.U and Egyptian figures.
A senior source at the Israel government said that Israel considers Abu Mazin “a weak leader”; therefore it decided to shift the attention onto Syria in order to increase the international pressure against it, amidst the current pressures regarding the investigation on the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Al Hariri.
Israel believes that increasing pressure on Syria will reduce its support to the Islamic Jihad movement, “which is based there and gives direct order for the movement in Palestinian to carry attacks and suicide bombings”, according to Israeli officials.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine released an official statement, on Tuesday, denying that it has offices anywhere but Palestine, adding that the activities of the movement are run from the occupied territories.
The movement added that its secretary general Dr. Ramadan Shallah has left Syria to an unknown destination.
The movement slammed the Palestinian Authority for condemning the Netanya suicide bombing, saying that it should condemn the continuous Israeli operations and escalation in the occupied territories.
Also, the Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, stated that Palestinian security men attempted to arrest one of its members, on Monday evening, and injured him.
“P.A security men attempted to arrest one of the fighters in Jenin refugee camp”, the movement stated, “it claimed that he was preparing to carry a bombing in Israel”.
The security men were unable to transfer the member out of Jenin after hundreds of residents and fighters intercepted them, and released the member, who was shot and injured in his shoulder by P.A fire while he was fleeing.