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Ahrar Al-Jalil planning "huge" attack in Israel

March 12, 2008 1:49 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2008 1:49 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an Exclusive - The group said to be responsible for last week's shooting attack in Jerusalem has threatened to conduct "a sudden, huge operation" against an Israeli target soon.

Ahrar Al-Jalil, or the "Galilee Freedom Battalion" sent the announcement to Ma'an News Agency on Tuesday evening, along with a photo of Ala' Abu Dheim, who carried out the shooting in a Jewish school in Jerusalem to Ma'an news agency.

The group, also known as the "Imad Mughniyya group" after the recently assassinated Hizbullah leader, said the new operation will be dedicated to "martyrs in Gaza and the West Bank," referring to Palestinians killed by the Israeli military.

The group threatened in a statement to conduct "a sudden huge operation" which the Israelis will not be able to imagine. They said the operation will be dedicated to "martyrs in Gaza and the West Bank."

For its part, the military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades denied the authenticity of the photo. They said it was fabricated.

The Al-Qassam Brigades also described the claims that Hamas operatives in exile were behind Jerusalem shooting without coordination with Hamas in Gaza. They said these assertions are Zionist attempts to justify the assassination of Hamas leaders abroad.

Eight Israeli students were killed last Thursday in the attack on a Jewish religious school in West Jerusalem.

Unlike other armed Palestinian groups, Ahrar Al-Jalil are based within Israel's 1949 borders. Abu Dheim was a resident of occupied East Jerusalem.

After one report from an anonymous Hamas source claiming responsibility for the Jerusalem shooting, Ahrar Al-Jalil claimed responsibility for the attack. In response to repeated inquiries, Hamas political and military sources denied any connection to the attack.

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