GALIILEE LIBERATORS BRIGADE
On 07/21/2003, an Israeli soldier – Oleg Shaichat was kidnapped and murdered when hitch hiking to his home in Nazareth Elite – the Jewish neighbor town to Nazareth. An ephemeral organization previously unknown, Galilee Liberators Brigade, took responsibility on the event using the same lead used in Hamas announcements. After few weeks Oleg Shaichat’s body was found in the olive plantations of Kfar Kana, just on the outskirt of Nazareth.
The same group opened fire on a police patrol in Beit Rimon junction, on 04/18/2004, a day after the senior Hamas Leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi was killed in Gaza by the IDF. The group used Oleg Shaichat’s rifle and one of the perpetrators was killed by police fire. This incident brought upon the solution of the case. The Galilee Liberators was a group of 4 Israeli Arabs, led by Mohammed Anbatawi from Kfar Kana. The investigators of the case came to the conclusion that the group was indeed inspired by Hizbullah in Lebanon, motivated by Islamic ideology similar to the Hamas but acted on its own.
Since then “Galilee Liberators” took responsibility on various events such as the disappearance of Dana Benet, 18, in Tiberias on 08/01/2003, a case that is not yet solved.
Imad Mugniyah’s Galilee Liberators Brigade took responsibility also on the last four terror attacks in Jerusalem the Mercaz-Harav shooting on 03/06/2008, the Jaffa Rampage on 07/02/2008, the shooting on a border police patrol in Jerusalem on 07/12/2008, which claimed the life of the policeman David Sheriki, and the Hayessod Rampage on 07/22/2008 – all committed by Israeli Arabs.
The last attacks in Jerusalem raised question about the Galilee Liberators Brigade whether it is just an opportunity to confuse the Israeli Security service or an alias to a real organization. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs – JCPA, a research institute based in Jerusalem ( See link below) examined the issue thoroughly.
In mid 07/2008 the Hamas distributed a video footage to commemorate Talal Saeed Abed, a Hamas operative killed few days earlier in Jenin by the IDF. In the footage he was staying behind a Qassam rocket and carriage, the very same Qassam rocket and carriage that appeared in another video footage distributed a month earlier, allegedly by the Galilee Liberators Brigade, in which the organization claimed its Qassam rockets were ready to be launched on Israeli settlements from the Galilee Mountains. Qassam rockets in the Palestinian West Bank are very rare, considered to be a strategic weapon and it is unlikely that the Hamas shared the same rocket with another organization.
Immediately after the Mercaz-Harav shooting, on 03/06/2008, a senior Hamas leader claimed sole responsibility on the attack although shortly afterward he withdrew from his announcement. The perpetrator of the second Rampage in Jerusalem on 07/22/2008, Rassan Abu-Tir from Um-Tuba in East Jerusalem, was a relative of the Hamas Palestinian elected PM from East Jerusalem– Muhammed Abu-Tir.
Although the evidence is not conclusive, it strongly suggest that the Galilee Liberators Brigade is a Hamas extension within the Israeli Arabs and the use of Israeli Arabs enable the Hamas to pretend that they stick with the cease fire with Israel and to continue, at the same time, attacks against Israel using Israeli Arabs under the ephemeral name – the Galilee Liberators Brigade.
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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs – JCPA