A Palestinian organization by the name “Jihad wal Tawhid” has claimed responsibility for the January 27 attack against IDF patrol on the Gaza strip border fence with Israel which resulted with one Israeli solider dead and three others wounded.
We believe that this claim of responsibility might be directly attributed to a newly established (November 2008) terrorist Jihadi outfit called “Jahafil Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad fi Filastin” ("The Armies of Monotheism and Jihad in Palestine") which vowed loyalty to Al-Qaeda and its leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
In case this claim of responsibility is authentic it draws the Israeli public opinion as well as its decision makers attention to the existence of Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in the strip. Two of the more famous ones are “Jaish Al Islam”, which was involved in the kidnapping operation of the Israeli solider Gilad Shalit and the Gaza branch of the Lebanese “Fattah Al Islam”. Even though these groups are small and their operational capabilities are limited (especially in comparison to those of the Hamas) and by no means pose the operational threat Osama Bin Laden's group poses to Israel in (and from) the international arena, this morning attack proves they have the ability to conduct a small scale attack that with the present circumstances of an evolving feeble ceasefire could easily become a strategic attack that might have a tremendous effect over the whole process of the stabilization in the region.
On the other hand one should remember that by using this specific name, the attack this morning is strictly connected with the Global Jihad and Al-Qaeda and completely removes any possible Israeli claims of Hamas involvement with it. At this new stage of a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas following three weeks of collisions it seems that Hamas has dual interest in conducting such an attack on the one hand while keeping its name away from it on the other in order to avoid the inevitable consequences of an Israeli hard retaliation. Hence, one can not rule out the possibility that Hamas was involved at least as a directive body with the attack.
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