(February 8, 2018 / MEMRI-JTTM) The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a coalition of Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank, announced in recent months that it has established the “Yasser Arafat” military base in the Gaza Strip, which is intended to train Palestinian fighters for the continuation of the “armed struggle” against Israel and Palestinians who are not sympathetic to the terror movement’s cause.
“The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades-Palestine, the Brigade of the Martyr Nidal Al-‘Amoudi, has opened its first military base named ‘The [Martyr] Yasser Arafat Military Base,’” the group said in a Facebook announcement in early December that was recently translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“This is in order to complete the project of expelling the occupation from all the lands of occupied Palestine. Today we pledge to our people [that we will] continue [the struggle] until the complete liberation of our holy places,” the terror group added.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claims it is linked to the Fatah movement, but the group says it does not accept Fatah’s current leader, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and instead supports Abbas’s political rival Mohammed Dahlan.
Late last year, Dahlan, who formerly headed Gaza operations for the P.A. until it was ousted from the territory by Hamas in 2007, helped broker a Palestinian unity deal between Hamas and the P.A. under Egyptian mediation.
But the implementation of the unity deal, which called for the P.A. to take political control over Gaza from Hamas, has been delayed over a number of disagreements between the two factions, including whether or not Hamas would retain its “military wing.”
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades group’s leader, Abu Muhammad, speaking with the Hamas-affiliated Filastin newspaper, alluded to the disarming of Hamas and other Gaza terror groups, saying, “No one, whoever he may be, whether at the level of command, whether a member of the Central Committee, or [any other rank] in the Fatah movement will dare to demand that we relinquish our weapons of resistance, as long as our land is occupied.”