Based on Palestinian sources, the report in the Saudi daily, Okaz, says that Qais Obaid, a former Mossad agent who became a Hezbollah operative in Lebanon, has been instrumental in recruiting members of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis on behalf of the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Obaid had organized the 2000 kidnapping of Elchanan Tanenbaum, an Israeli businessman, who was held for more than three years and released in January 2004 as part of a prisoner swap with Hezbollah, which resulted in the exchange of 435 prisoners held by Israel in return for Tannenbaum’s release and the return of the bodies of three soldiers killed during an ambush along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
According to the report, “The Lebanese Hezbollah organization has renewed its attempts to recruit Palestinian youths in the West Bank to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in the [West] Bank and inside Israel.”
The report also said that Israel was aware of the situation and not surprised by Hezbollah’s recruitment attempts, and has been preparing for possible shooting attacks against Israelis, or even the launching of rockets into Israel from the West Bank, by operatives acting at the behest of Hezbollah.
Israeli security officials said that the explosive device placed last week on the Tunnel Road between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion was the first example of such Hezbollah activity in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
These officials also said that the Palestinian Authority has been aiming to expose the ties between Palestinian terror operatives and the Iranian proxy group. They added that it is still unknown how many such operatives there are, and how many Hezbollah sleeper cells.