This is a real time report of a siege underway at Balata refugee camp near Nablus on the West Bank (aka Occupied Palestine).
The IDF and agents have surrounded a dwelling and settled down to a stand-off. Surrender or collapse or death are the options. Inside the dwelling are two critical Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade leaders on the West Bank. First is the Nablus leader, Ala Senakreh. The second is Abu Aziz, who is deputy commander of Al Aqsa on the West Bank and a major league bad guy.
I spoke with Abu Aziz at Nablus on his mobile phone last Monday, 13 February, along with my correspondent in Jerusalem. Abu Aziz, in measured Arabic, low, clear, confident, commanding speaking voice, described an imminent Third Intifadeh, to be led by Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad from the West Bank. It will include suicide belts in waves and also rockets against Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, (In the last three weeks, the IDF has intercepted 12 belts sent by Abu Aziz, who is responsible for the last three attacks that got through the defenses). Abu Aziz said he was not loyal to Abbas or the now Hamas-controlled PA parliament. Abu Aziz said he had plenty of ops, weapons, explosives, money to launch a sustaining and devastating offensive.
The IDF moving aggressively against Al Aqsa means the Third Intifadeh launch date will change; it may move up. There is evidence that the funds are now coming from Tehran, as this will be a coordinated series of attacks by Al Aqsa, Islamic Jihad and (in disguise) HizbAllah. Hamas will claim it is not involved; yet Hamas will do nothing to stop the attacks.
I spoke to an IDF general officer (ret) last week, who said this will not be an intifadeh, it will be a war.
I will update the siege when I got more detail. Recall that the West Bank is seven hours ahead of the East Coast; it is full dark now; the optimum time for special operations is after 2 -3 am.