Despite the announcement by both sides of a resumption of negotiations, the violent Palestinian intifada continued to claim life and limb over the weekend.
On FRIDAY, Hamas marked its 14th anniversary in a rally at a stadium in Gaza, vowing revenge for the recent killing of its members by Israel. Addressing the crowd, Sheikh Salah Shahadi promised the group would send more suicide bombers. "Israel opened the gate to hell when it chose to fight the Muslim people, and this gate will not be closed with a visit by [Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo] Ben-Ami or an initiative by the United States or Europe," he said. In a disturbingly gesture, a young Palestinian girl and boy approached Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who handed the girl a Koran and the boy a toy pistol.
SATURDAY morning, units from the police, IDF and GSS arrested four Palestinians from the village Hares in Judea/Samaria on suspicion of involvement in attacks on soldiers and participation in clashes. Israeli security forces have also arrested 19 other Palestinians from villages in the area during the past week that are suspected of similar offenses.
In other incidents Saturday, an Israeli motorist was lightly wounded by a stone thrown at his car near Ariel, shots were fired at an Israeli vehicle traveling on the Jericho bypass road, and intensive fire was directed through the night until Sunday morning at Jewish homes in Hebron. There were no casualties.
On SUNDAY, there was another terrorist shooting attack which seriously wounded Kobi Sabag of Mevo Dotan, who was shot at the wheel of his car by Palestinians in a passing vehicle. The gunshot wounds were in the head and hand.
Two Palestinians died in clashes with soldiers near the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border. According to the IDF, the two sustained fatal injuries during a heavy exchange of fire near the Israeli position.
A leading Fatah activist died in a bomb explosion in the Kalandia refugee camp in northern Jerusalem. Palestinians allege that his death was the work of Israel's Shin Bet security agency. Israeli security sources said, however, that he was preparing a bomb when an "accident" occurred, which killed him. Officially, Fatah stated that he was another victim of Israel's "shoot to kill" policy against leading Palestinian activists. He is the sixth senior Palestinian activist killed in a week, and the eleventh in the past few weeks.
Soldiers discovered the body of an 18-year-old Palestinian shot twice in the head near the village of Aboud, outside Ramallah. Following an initial investigation, police have arrested two residents of the settlement of Neveh Tsuf who are suspected of shooting the youth. One of the suspects was seriously wounded in a terror attack several weeks ago and is still undergoing medical treatment.
In the Arab village of Hares, relatives said a 40-year-old former Israeli policeman was shot by Palestinians at close range because they suspected he was a collaborator with Israel.
In another attempt by Palestinian gunmen to target Jewish children in their terror campaign, Palestinians shot at two school buses in northern Gaza, and at one school bus near Hebron. Shots were also fired at the regional school at Neveh Dekalim. Several bullets were embedded in the walls of the community center, just meters from the school building. There were no injuries reported.
In response to these attacks, Gush Katif residents said they planned to lodge a complaint with police demanding that PA security chief in Gaza Mohammed Dahlan be extradited and immediately arrested when he sets foot inside Israel. Kfar Darom residents and ARUTZ-7 claim that Dahlan was directly responsible for a string of terror attacks in the area, including the bombing of the school bus near the community several weeks ago. In a recent interview with YEDIOT AHARONOT, Dahlan admitted some of his officers had conducted attacks against Israelis.
Dahlan, a resident of Gaza, was allowed to visit the Israeli Arab town of Taibe on Saturday, with the permission of Israeli authorities. He delivered a speech in which he said that the Palestinian nation will not surrender in their uprising.
In other attacks Sunday, three roadside bombs exploded as an armored army convoy traveled between Mount Ebal and Shavei Shomron; shots were fired at an Israeli bus traveling near Ofra; IDF sappers detonated a roadside bomb on the highway southwest of Homesh near Nablus; shots were fired at an Israeli vehicle traveling near Eilon Moreh, and a firebomb was thrown at an Israeli vehicle traveling south of Tulkarm. In the Gaza Strip, shots were fired from two directions, including the rooftop of a Palestinian police station, at soldiers near Rafah, and there were heavy exchanges of gunfire near Dugit after Palestinians began shooting at an IDF post.
On MONDAY, two Israelis were lightly injured in a shooting attack on the Jericho bypass road. A private minibus was travelling north on the road between Na'ama and kibbutz Beit Ha'arava when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the vehicle. The passengers were hit by shattered glass, but their wounds were not considered serious.
PA Police Brig. Gen. Abdel Moutti Sabawi, who was also a member of Yasser Arafat's Fatah Revolution Council was killed Monday in yet another "mysterious" explosion in the Gaza Strip. There are contradictory explanations of the circumstances of his death, ISRAEL RADIO reported. One version states that Sabawi and his men were dismantling shells dropped by the IAF several weeks ago. Another version claims that there was an explosion in the police station.
Stone throwers attacked an Israeli vehicle driving by the village of Hawara near Nablus. According to Palestinian sources, the occupants of the car opened fire on the stone throwers, wounding two, one seriously. The IDF said it had no information on the shooting and had opened an investigation.
PA police discovered the body of a Fatah activist missing since Saturday, in an open area near the village of Arrabe. Palestinian sources said his body showed signs of multiple stab wounds. PA police arrested a suspect in the death and have opened an investigation, ARMY RADIO said.
Four Palestinians attempted to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip along Nahal Besor. IDF soldiers opened fire, wounding one of the would-be infiltrators. The four managed to flee back into the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the Jewish compound in Hebron and an IDF patrol near Rafiah on the Egyptian border. There were no injuries reported in the incident.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.