Further evidence emerged Monday of the direct link between the armed wing of Fatah, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Palestinian Authority.
Obituary notices distributed in the West Bank town of Salfit by Fatah and the PA’s General Intelligence Force revealed that the local commander of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who was killed on Sunday when his M-16 rifle exploded, had doubled as a security officer.
Jihad Hassan, who is also known as Abu Naaim, was the commander of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Salfit and has been wanted by Israel for the past two years.
Residents said Hassan purchased two days ago from an arms dealer an M-16 rifle that had been apparently booby-trapped by Israel’s Shin Bet. They said the rifle exploded on Sunday while Hassan was carrying it, amputating his right arm.
Hassan was rushed unconscious to a hospital in Ramallah, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Doctors said he had lost a lot of blood before arriving at the hospital.
An obituary notice published by the General Intelligence Force, headed by Gen. Tawfik Tirawi, revealed that the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander also served in the force with the rank of lieutenant.
“The command of the Palestinian General Intelligence Force and all its officers and soldiers mourn the death of martyr and hero lieutenant Jihad Hassan, who was martyred on the soil of Salfit on September 26, 2004 while carrying out his duties,” said the obituary statement.
Two other obituaries distributed in Salfit by Fatah groups also pointed out that Hassan was an officer serving in the General Intelligence Force. In one of them, published by Fatah’s shabiba organization in Salfit, Hassan is referred to as “one of the leaders of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a member of the General Intelligence Force in Salfit, and a member of the organizational committee of Fatah in Salfit.”