Palestinian denial of Taba operation
Palestine-Israel, Politics, 10/9/2004
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement and the Islamic resistance movement ( Hamas) denied any link between the Palestinians and the explosions that took place in Taba, Egypt. The two movements held Israel responsible for these operations "because of the occupation and the crimes committed against the Palestinian people."
The leading figure in the Islamic Jihad movement, Khaled al-Batash, said that the "Palestinians have no links to this operation and the Palestinians are victims of the Israeli occupation and this operation might have been carried out to revenge them." Al-Batash stressed the solid Palestinian- Egyptian relations, stressing that all Palestinian groups are careful to keep the battle inside the occupied Palestinian territories.
For his part, the spokesman for the Hamas movement Mushir al-Masri said "the border of our fighting with the Zionist enemy is inside the occupied Palestinian territories." However, Israel renewed its accusations to al- Qaida organization of being behind the attacks. The Israeli deputy defense minister Zaef Bweim said that "Preliminary information indicated that the explosions are similar to international terrorist acts carried out by al-Qaida."
Israeli security forces said that a booby trapped car was able to get into the hall of Taba Hilton hotel where it blew up leaving very heavy casualties. One Israeli official said that the hotel was exposed to two simultaneous explosions. The first resulted from a truck and the second of a suicider who blew up his bomb simultaneously at the entrance of the building.
While, in a statement, the Egyptian ministry of the interior accused what it called "suspected elements seeking to obstruct efforts aiming at containing the negative implications taking place in the occupied territories, as responsible for the explosions.
The Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom renewed his call to the Israelis he had made one month ago to avoid visiting Sinai in Egypt.
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