Chicken and egg watch | 21.03.2010 09:21
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2010, 8:22 PM (GMT+02:00)Tags: Al Qaeda Gaza motor-cycles
Taliban RPG shooters on motorbikesFriday night, March 19, a three pairs of motorbike riders crashed through Gaza's border fence and opened RPG and automatic fire on Israelis soldiers on patrol near the Israeli village of Kfar Azza. They missed and swerved back into the Gaza Strip before the soldiers could return the fire. There were no casualties on either side.
debkafile's military sources report that this was the second time in two days that Palestinian gunmen, believed to belong to the al Qaeda-linked groupings spreading through southern Gaza, have used motor cycles for a cross-border attack. Israeli military spotters sighted one Thursday night. Assuming he was backed by an armed group, Israeli tanks blasted the area and drove him back.
When the incident was investigated, it was found that a band of motorbike-mounted terrorists had indeed been heading for the border and pulled back before sustaining injuries. The attack Friday appears to have been their second try.
According to our military sources, the use of RPG-armed terrorists mounted on motorbikes for attacking regular troops was developed by two forces: Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, which has established special units for this form of assault, and the Afghan Taliban - only the former use a team of two, a driver and a second shooter, while the Taliban uses a single rider for both functions who is usually designated a suicide.
Our counter-terror sources report that a group of al Qaeda fighters recently infiltrated the Gaza Strip through the smuggling tunnels from Sinai. They came from fighting US and local forces in Iraq and Pakistan to train the Jalalat group of al Qaeda-linked Palestinians in this type of attack on military and civilian targets.
Its introducton to Palestinian extremists in the Gaza Strip seriously degrades security on Israel's southwestern border.
The last three days have seen a rising level of Qassam missile attacks from Gaza, one a day since Wednesday, three Saturday, March 20. The most serious killed a Thai farm worker at the border village of Netiv Ha'asara on Thursday. Israel has retaliated twice with the routine air force strikes against tunnels and arms workshops which have never in the past deterred the Palestinians from sustaining their attacks.
Gaza's Hamas rulers have warily avoided responsibility for the latest round of attacks, but are reported by our counter-terror sources as quietly cheering them on.
Most military experts advise Israel to start switching to non-routine, less predictable tactics to offset with the new peril, before it gets out of hand. Since the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead, Israeli towns and villages within range of Gaza have finally been able to lead more or less normal lives after eight years of terror.
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