The four-month-old Palestinian intifada that has slowly toppled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak from power, plagued him right up to the eve of the election, which promises to be yet another "day of rage."
Funerals were held on FRIDAY for the two latest Israeli terror victims, murdered in separate drive-by shootings on Thursday. Also Friday, the Nazareth Magistrate's court met in a closed-doors session to extend the remand of Mahmoud Zuabi, 31, of Tamra, for six days. Zuabi, an Israeli Arab who accompanied Lior Attiah on Thursday to the outskirts of Jenin, where he was murdered, is suspected of involvement in the incident.
In response to the murders, the IDF imposed a blockade on Palestinian towns and villages in Judea/Samaria, except for the cities of Kalkilya and Jericho, and blocked gravel roads leading from Palestinian villages to the main highways. A ban on Palestinian motorists traveling alone in private vehicles was also declared, and in areas where there have been a number of shooting incidents, Palestinians may travel only by public transportation.
Violence continued over the weekend, with four shooting incidents in Judea/Samaria and 12 in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians reported Saturday that one youth was killed in Khan Yunis during an exchange of fire with IDF soldiers.
Friday night, IDF soldiers thwarted an attempted terror attack near an IDF post in Neveh Dekalim, when they identified four gunmen near a Khan Yunis building used in the past few days by terrorists to shoot at soldiers. The soldiers shot at the terrorists, and injured some of them.
Early SATURDAY morning, soldiers on operational duty north of the Sufa crossing detected attempts by terrorists to cross the border fence into Israel. The soldiers shot at the terrorists, injuring two. Shortly after, in the same area, soldiers shot at two men suspected of attempting to plant a bomb near the border fence, and injured one.
Following repeated attempts by Palestinians to plant bombs along the Karni-Netzarim road, IDF bulldozers on SUNDAY morning razed deserted buildings in the area used by Palestinians for launching terror attacks against soldiers and Israeli civilians traveling on the road. The Palestinians claimed that the army destroyed three buildings and a gas station in the area.
Early Sunday morning, soldiers foiled another attempt by Palestinians to enter Israel near the Kissufim crossing in Gaza. Soldiers identified one Palestinian climbing the border fence, and shot and wounded him. Also on Sunday, searches by IDF soldiers north of the Kissufim crossing uncovered the body of a terrorist with a large bomb in his possession. The man was shot Saturday night while trying to cross into Israel, and, according to Israeli sources, had planned a large-scale attack.
Also Sunday, soldiers on operational duty on the Karni-Netzarim road foiled an attempt by two Palestinians to plant a bomb. The soldiers shot at the Palestinian perpetrators and then defused the bomb before opening the road to traffic.
Meanwhile, Palestinian groups have declared TUESDAY, election day in Israel, a "Day of Rage," and have called on Palestinians to participate in demonstrations. In response, 15,000 police, soldiers, and civil guardsmen will be deployed in an extensive operation to ensure that law and order is maintained during the election.
Police Insp.-Gen. Shlomo Aharonishky said police have received several reports regarding intentions in the Arab sector in the north of the country to interfere with the election, and added that any attempt to disturb the peace would be met with a firm response. He added that police, in coordination with Central Elections Committee chairman Mishael Cheshin, will not hesitate to close down polling booths if trouble breaks out.
And finally, IDF forces last week headed off a sea-borne shipment headed for the Gaza Strip loaded with forty barrels of weaponry believed to be intended for use by the PA in a possible conflict after Tuesday's voting, an IDF source said. According to a report on Israel CHANNEL TWO television Sunday night, the shipment included anti-tank rockets, 50 rocket-propelled grenades, rocket launchers, 1,000 rockets, cases of 60mm mortar rounds and other war materiel. IDF sources said the shipment was captured after being dumped overboard from a boat, apparently originating in Egypt.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.