Al Qaeda on Sunday confirmed that three gunmen killed by Israeli troops near Hebron last week were members of the global terror organization.
A statement posted to the website of the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group that includes Al Qaeda, read:
"We announce to the nation joyously that by the grace of Allah the ideology of global jihad has attained a foothold in the West Bank, after everyone had tried to abort every seed planted there."
The group went on to slam the Palestinian Authority's negotiations with Israel, making it clear that the Jewish state is not the only target of Al Qaeda's local operations.
"We call on all loyal people to deplore the so-called negotiations, which reek of collaboration," read the statement.
Israeli security forces reported that the cell they took out had been planning and preparing for months for attacks on both Israeli and Palestinian Authority targets.
The Palestinians, for their part, find it very uncomfortable to acknowledge that territories under their control have become a base of operations for the likes of Al Qaeda.
Nasser Lahham, editor-in-chief of the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency, called the reports nothing more than Israeli propaganda, but went on to say that if Al Qaeda really is operating in the area, it is, of course, all Israel's fault.