While the Palestinian uprising has not been as intense over the holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah and the end of Ramadan, there were still plenty of violent incidents, even as renewed negotiations were being conducted.
In an update to our report on FRIDAY, twelve Israeli policemen and twelve Palestinians were lightly wounded in violence following prayers at the Temple Mount on the last Friday of the Muslim "holy" month of Ramadan. Several journalists, including an AP television crew, were attacked and wounded by Palestinians, who mistook them for Israelis. Thirty Palestinian stone throwers were arrested by undercover police.
Contrary to initial reports that two Israelis died in a suicide bombing attack at a highway cafÃ© near the Jordan Valley town of Mehola on Friday afternoon, it was later discovered that there were no Israeli casualties. Still, three IDF soldiers were wounded - two seriously - in the attack. Female soldier Tzippora Ben-Shahar suffered from extensive internal wounds. Omer Golan suffered from chest wounds, burns and a broken leg. Rafael Antman, a soldier from the haredi Nahal unit, suffered from wounds to the leg and hand. The condition of the soldiers improved over the weekend.
According to witnesses, a Palestinian man with a belt of explosives strapped to him entered the cafe, sat down at a table next to the group of soldiers sitting on the terrace, and detonated himself. Antman said the bomber smiled at him seconds before the blast occurred. Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack.
On Friday night, a firebomb was hurled at a Jewish home in Silwan, in eastern Jerusalem. It exploded on the roof, and no casualties were reported. Early Friday morning, two firebombs were hurled at Israeli cars passing Jerusalem's Cinematheque. Both cars were damaged, but no injuries were reported.
Two Palestinians died in violence in Judea/Samaria and Gaza over the weekend. At Beit Haggai near Hebron, a Palestinian armed with a knife attempted to stab one of the residents. The resident, a policeman, and a neighbor both shot at the terrorist, killing him. An inscription on the terrorist's knife said "Victory is close."
In another incident SATURDAY, Palestinians said the 17-year-old nephew of Fatah commander Abbas Zaki was killed during heavy clashes that took place between Palestinians and soldiers in Hebron throughout the day.
On SUNDAY, 14 members of the Hamas military wing Izzadin Kassam were arrested by Israeli security forces in a predawn raid in a village near Nablus (biblical Shechem). The terrorists are believed to have been involved in planning attacks, and may have been ready to carry out attacks and bombings soon. According to other sources, several of the Hamas suspects arrested are related to Hamas fugitive Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, who managed to evade a special counter-terrorist unit raid several months ago; three soldiers were killed by "friendly fire" in the botched attempt to nab him.
Two Israeli civilians were lightly wounded MONDAY by stones thrown at their vehicle on the Husan bypass road west of Bethlehem. Also, an Israeli Arab truck driver was lightly injured from glass shards after shots were fired at the bakery truck he was driving near Itamar.
A fierce gun battle between Palestinians and Israeli troops erupted near the Judean/Samarian city of Nablus early TUESDAY, Palestinian witnesses said. The witnesses said fighting began overnight when Palestinians opened fire on a Jewish settlement near the Palestinian-ruled city. Israeli troops responded by firing heavy machine gun rounds, the army said. The fighting was some of the fiercest during the Christmas period.
Over the weekend and through Tuesday, shootings, roadside ambushes, bombings, gun battles and stone throwing incidents occurred throughout YESHA. There were no casualties reported.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.