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Al-Aqsa threatens retaliation for strike; Salafi group attacks patrol

Sept. 26, 2009 10:14 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 27, 2009 5:35 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Gaza Strip’s militant groups ramped up efforts against Israeli forces on Saturday, as a Salafi group announced an attack on an Israeli military patrol, and Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades jointly claimed a projectile launch.

In a statement declaring their participation in the joint launch of a projectile against Israeli targets in the western Negev desert, the Al-Aqsa Brigades vowed to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike on the northern Strip that killed three Palestinians on Friday. Israeli sources reported that a projectile landed in the western Negev on Saturday morning.

In their statement the group called upon all Palestinian military groups to retaliate for what they called the “criminal act” that killed three Palestinian activists in the north eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, and to unite in the face of “Israeli arrogance.”

No injuries or damage resulted from the projectile attack.

In a separate incident the Salafi group Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers for God), said they shot two mortars at a gathering Israeli force in military jeeps near the city of Khan Younis. The group clashed with Hamas forces in the city of Rafah in mid-August after denouncing the local Hamas-run government as insufficiently Islamic and declaring a mosque the headquarters of a new Islamic emirate. Twenty-five people were killed in the ensuing clashes.

A statement from Jund Ansar Allah on Saturday said the "attack [on the Israeli patrol] came as a response to the Israeli attacks on Palestinian prisoners and the latest Israeli attack during that killed three members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad on Friday."

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