Update: AAB has now denied responsibility for the attack.
A mysterious new group called Al Aqsa Brigades (Imad Mughniyeh Faction), along with a strange group called the Freedom Flotilla Martyrs Group (Arabic language) launched an attack against Israeli police in their vehicle in Hebron, killing 1 and wounding 4 more.
The AAB group is mysterious. AAB is the armed wing of the more or less secular PLO. However, they never took orders from Arafat and they certainly do not from Abbas. They are militant and radical in terms of carrying out armed attacks against Israel. However, they are not Islamists, and they have no love for Hamas and vice versa.
Imad Mughniyeh was the head of military operations for Hezbollah who was assassinated by Mossad in Syria. The assassins were somehow never caught – it was a brilliant operation.
What is strange is that the Arab nationalist PLO does not like the Shia Hezbollah very much. They see them as an Iranian tool, and the PLO hates Iran.
Interestingly, it is the Sunni fundamentalist Hamas which is most aligned with Hezbollah.
Islamic Jihad has long had deep links to Iran. In fact, a number of IJ fighters and supporters have actually converted from Sunnism to Shiism. Such conversion is feared by most Sunnis in an almost paranoid way (The Shia are trying to convert us!) but it’s actually quite rare.
Conversions from Shiism to Sunnism are much more common. There are quite a few of them taking place right in the Arab-populated Ahwaz region of Iran. The people there are Arab Shia, but they are oppressed by the Iranian Shia regime as Arabs, so they are ripe for Saudi-financed conversion efforts.