Not even heavy rains were able to dampen the Palestinian uprising, as Tuesday saw widespread terrorist shootings against Israeli targets and today was marked by an intense nine-hour gun battle in southern Gaza.
A total of four Israelis were lightly to seriously wounded by Palestinian gunmen in three shooting attacks in Judea/Samaria and Gaza yesterday afternoon and evening. An Israeli soldier is in moderate condition after he was shot in the shoulder yesterday evening as he was driving near Nili, north west of Ramallah.
Rachel Yom-Tov, a mother of nine from the Gaza settlement of Morag, suffered a serious head wound last night after Palestinians ambushed and opened fire at the vehicle in which she was travelling between Gush Katif and Morag. Another female passenger suffered light injuries.
Late yesterday afternoon, an Israeli man suffered a moderate head wound after Palestinians shot at his vehicle near the Bekaot Junction in the Jordan Valley. Shortly after the attack, he managed to alert an Israeli convoy accompanying a school bus, and the bus driver diverted the bus to the nearest town.
Palestinian gunmen fired shots again last night from Beit Jalla into Gilo, where an Israeli woman was shot in the neck on Monday night. CNN showed footage of a small Orthodox church in Beit Jalla hit by Israeli return fire. The pictures further validate charges by Israel and even some Palestinians that militiamen from PLO chief Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction are forcefully using Christian homes and buildings in Beit Jalla to launch attacks at Gilo, against the will of their owners. Some residents of Gilo and Beit Jalla are calling for the Arab Christian town to be turned back into Area B, under Israeli security control, creating a security zone for Gilo. Since it is currently under full PA rule as Area A, the IDF has been reluctant to enter Beit Jalla to effectively solve the recurring sniping problem.
In other incidents in Jerusalem, two cars travelling from Pisgat Ze'ev to French Hill came under automatic gunfire near the bridge over the French Hill-Ma'aleh Adumim road. Also a taxi was shot at in Pisgat Ze'ev from the adjacent Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina; this was the second time in two weeks that shots had been fired within northern Jerusalem. No injuries were reported in the attacks.
Hundreds of Palestinian gunmen engaged Israeli forces in a fierce nine-hour battle in Khan Yunis in Gaza, which raged overnight and into WEDNESDAY. Palestinians were firing from buildings and a sandbag barrier on the edge of Khan Yunis into the nearby Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim. Four Palestinians were killed and dozens injured by this morning.
The firefight began yesterday when IDF bulldozers leveled an earthwork that provided cover for snipers. Palestinian gunmen then hid behind a barricade and opened fire from a nearby District Coordination Office on a community center in Neve Dekalim where children study. The center came under fire again this morning, and the children were rushed to a shelter unharmed. Palestinians also shot at IDF posts near hothouses in Neve Dekalim, and on a school bus on its way from Morag to Neve Dekalim.
An alert IDF patrol prevented an infiltration attempt by three Palestinians overnight north of Kissufim in the Gaza Strip.
In the Jordan Valley, Palestinians stoned a school bus near the Ouja village. The Jordan Valley has suffered a sharp increase in shootings, fire-bombings and stoning in the last two weeks, and parents have kept their children at home in recent days to protest the lack of armored school buses.
Palestinian gunmen opened fire at IDF soldiers in Hebron later today, and also at a base south of Hebron. Palestinians said a Hamas activist was killed; the IDF could not verify the death, but is investigating.
Settlers in Judea/Samaria demonstrated on the roads, preventing Palestinian vehicles from passing, in response to the continued deterioration in security on the roads. In demonstrations yesterday, settlers charged that despite the IDF's "blockade" on Arab villages, Palestinians continue to travel freely and carry out attacks.
In further incidents in YESHA throughout TUESDAY, Palestinians shot at IDF bases near Beit Sahur, in the Hebron area, on Mount Ebal near Shechem (Nablus), at the Ayosh Junction, and at a Border Police patrol north of Jerusalem. There were also shots in the morning on the Elah Valley Highway, south of Beit Shemesh. In the Gaza area, IDF positions along the Israeli-Egyptian border, at Gush Katif and near the Sufah crossing came under fire, as did an Israeli convoy travelling between two IDF posts in the Gush Katif area.
Palestinians said Tuesday that a senior Fatah activist was killed by soldiers in the village of Artas, near Bethlehem. In a raid early Tuesday morning, police and IDF troops arrested four Palestinians suspected of involvement in clashes with Israeli security forces and of incitement. Police said the four confessed to the charges.
According to ISRAEL RADIO, two IDF soldiers were severely wounded after Palestinian snipers fired at their patrol jeep near Hebron. In the same area, two buses were shot at, and two bombs were discovered near Kiryat Arba, but only after one exploded and hit a bus. A number of roadside bombs were defused by sappers in the same area the previous day. Two additional IDF soldiers were lightly injured near the Hermesh settlement in the Jenin area, when shots were fired at their jeep escorting a civilian bus.
In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian gunmen fired toward Kfar Darom from within the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA).
Meanwhile, the IDF killed Islamic Jihad terrorist Anwar Mahmoud Hamran, when soldiers returned fire directed he at them on Mount Gerizim, in the Nablus area. Palestinian sources claimed, however, that the IDF shot first at Hamran when he was leaving his stationery shop on the edge of town. Hamran, who was released from prison by the PA along with other Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists six weeks ago, is suspected of being involved in several lethal bombing attacks and helped to plan the bombing in Hadera last month which killed two Israeli civilians and wounded 69 others.
A Palestinian stole an Israeli machine-gun from an IDF armored personnel carrier near Netzarim MONDAY. IDF soldiers opened fire towards the thief, but he escaped to Palestinian-controlled territory with the weapon. The IDF announced that it views the incident with "grave concern."
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.