Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Two More Israelis Fail To Return From PA-Rules Areas
In the latest instance of Israelis being brutally murdered in Palestinian areas, masked Arab gunmen grabbed two owners of a Tel Aviv restaurant who were shopping in Tulkarm on Tuesday and executed them on the edge of town.
Israelis Motti Dayan, 27, and Etgar Zeitouny, 34, were abducted yesterday as they were dining in PA-ruled Tulkarm, took them out to a field, and shot them in the head at close range. The IDF immediately encircled Tulkarm, and security officials reissued warnings to Israelis that entering PA-controlled areas is not only dangerous but also forbidden. The killings came just six days after Palestinians murdered Israeli high school student Ofir Rahum, who was lured to Ramallah and shot dead.
Dayan and Zeitouny were co-owners of the popular "Yuppies" sushi bar in Tel Aviv. Accompanied by an Israeli Arab friend, they had traveled to Tulkarm to shop for flowerpots for the restaurant, having been persuaded that they would save money there. The cousins stopped to eat at the Abu Nidal Restaurant on the outskirts of the town, and word spread that there were Israelis there. Soon after, the masked men arrived and removed the Israelis at gunpoint, driving them northeast, to the border of the PA-controlled zone.
The gunmen also grabbed the Israeli Arab man who had escorted the two men into town, but freed him without harm after the killings. Palestinian police arrived shortly afterward and handed over the gunshot bodies and the Israeli Arab man to IDF soldiers at the local District Coordination Office. Investigators are trying to determine whether he was involved in the murder or an innocent victim.
Last night, an anonymous caller telephoned REUTERS and said that a Hamas-affiliated group had carried out the attack, and that the "operation" had been filmed. Hamas today denied any link with the group, and contrary to PA reports, say that none of their members were arrested. Israeli security officials also received information appearing to point to Fatah involvement.
Tulkarm in particular has been tense since January 1, when Israel assassinated the secretary general of the local Fatah cell Dr. Thabet Thabet. The Palestinian General Intelligence Service yesterday said it had arrested three Palestinians suspected of helping Israel in the assassination, and that two others had escaped to Israel.
Meanwhile, an Israeli resident of Jerusalem saved his own life yesterday, by thinking quickly. On his way back from the north of the country the man made a wrong turn and found himself in the center of Jericho. Surrounded by Palestinian locals and police he feared the worst, but he quickly told the crowd that he was there to meet with Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Preventative Security Service. He was immediately treated with respect and escorted to the offices of Rajoub, at which point he was transferred to Israeli police.
Also last night, two Palestinians attacked an Israeli woman on Neviim Street in western Jerusalem. Daganit Dahanshma, 25, of Pisgat Ze'ev in northern Jerusalem was lightly injured in her face and hand after being hit with a metal bar. Following a chase, Border policemen captured the youths, who said they intended avenging the death of a relative at the beginning of the Intifada.
Israeli police have captured a PA policeman who tried to kidnap an Israeli taxi driver on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway last night. The "policeman," one of three Arab passengers, put a gun to the driver's head, ordered him to pull off the road. The driver hit the Palestinian and jumped from his moving cab.
Also yesterday, an Israeli child was lightly wounded when Palestinians stoned the car he was traveling in on the Hussan bypass road between Bethlehem and Betar. Palestinian fire was opened on an Israeli car between Givat Ze'ev and Atarot on the outskirts of Jerusalem; bullets hit the car, but no one was hurt.
Border Police sappers successfully detonated two large roadside bombs on Monday, seen during an aerial search near Betar Illit, near Bethlehem. Police believe the perpetrators fled into PA-ruled territory.
Sporadic gunfire has occurred during the day since Monday, following a roadside bomb attack in the same area. Another bomb exploded along the same Netzarim-Karni road Monday night as a civilian convoy was traveling on it, resulting in no casualties.
The electronic border fence supposedly separating Gaza from the rest of Israel is full of holes, since Palestinians have destroyed several kilometers of it in the last three months. The fence was erected in 1994-95, after Israel withdrew from most of the Gaza Strip. IDF sources said the destruction of the fence has greatly increased the danger of terrorist attacks. It also makes it easier for Palestinians to smuggle arms from Gaza into Judea/Samaria. Police Chief Inspector Shlomo Aharonishky says the security situation in YESHA is a state of war.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.