Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Hamas Films Ambush on IDF Tank in Gaza
Hamas staged a roadside bombing in Gaza on Monday that harkened back to the IDF's long fight against Hizb'Allah in Lebanon, while the Arab woman believed to be part of a Fatah terrorist cell that lured Jewish teenager Ofir Rahum to his death in an ambush near Ramallah last Wednesday has been captured by Israeli security forces.
An IDF tracker was moderately injured today when a roadside bomb exploded on the road between Netzarim and Karni in the Gaza Strip. The soldier was walking ahead of an Israeli tank patrolling the road when Hamas terrorists hiding nearby detonated the powerful explosive device. The terror cell filmed the incident and later aired it on Palestinian television, claiming they blew up the tank. The IDF said the tank was unharmed. The mode of attack closely resembles tactics used by Hizb'Allah against the IDF in south Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the General Security Service and an IDF undercover unit managed on Friday to arrest Mona Awana, 25, at her parents' home in the village of Bir Naballah, located in an Area C under full Israeli control. So far, Awana is refusing to cooperate with the police investigation. An examination of Rahum's computer at his home in Ashkelon helped lead authorities to her. Evidence collected at her home and elsewhere has further connected her to the murder.
A freelance journalist and resident of east Jerusalem, Awana first made contact with Rahum around three weeks ago in an Internet chat room, and is suspected of posing as an American tourist named "Sally" to lure him to Jerusalem. YEDIOT AHARANOT reported that Rahum, 16, even bragged to his classmates about meeting an older female tourist. Awana also reportedly showed off to her friends, and word reached the Tanzim militants who planned the ambush.
On Wednesday morning he left his Ashkelon home and traveled to Jerusalem where he is believed to have met Awana, who then drove him toward Ramallah. At a prearranged location near El-Bireh she bolted from the car, another vehicle drove up and three Palestinian gunmen inside shot Rahum more than 15 times. One terrorist drove off with Rahum's body and dumped it, while the others fled in the second vehicle.
Rahum's body was discovered that evening, but was unrecognizable and presumed to be that of a Palestinian collaborator killed by vigilantes. However, by Thursday Israeli security officials had been alerted to Rahum's disappearance and began pressing for Rahum's body to be handed over by nightfall and autopsied.
Israeli security and police officials dismissed initial claims by Palestinian officials that it was a criminal attack, given the lethal use of automatic firearms by the assailants. One source said that the PA is uncomfortable with the incident and is trying to dismiss it as a marginal event.
Palestinian Authority security sources said Sunday that they have launched an investigation into the murder, and are looking into both nationalistic and criminal motives. One Palestinian security source speculated that the murder was an "honor killing" and that Awana may have given Rahum up to save her own skin. Contacts with Israelis are considered a crime by Palestinians, and she may have acted to redeem herself by cooperating in his killing, the source explained. He did not, however, rule out that it was a premeditated nationalistic murder.
Meanwhile, IDF troops reportedly shot dead a 15-year-old Palestinian stone-thrower during a riot at the Karni crossing into Gaza on Sunday, as Palestinian shooting attacks persisted against civilian vehicles and military outposts.
And in Hebron on Sunday, IDF sappers safely detonated a small pipe bomb on Shalala Street not far from the Jewish neighborhood of Beit Hadassah.
Despite the fact that the violence in the territories continues, Israeli industry is starved for a work force and Prime Minister Ehud Barak instructed defense authorities to start allowing 16,000 Palestinian laborers back to their jobs in Israel. Defense officials said that the 16,000 approved laborers are part of a pre-selected group who have all undergone security checks and are guaranteed by their employers to hold steady jobs. Security criteria require that the men be at least 35 years old, married, and with families.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.