News Updates from Israel
Updated Wednesday Sept. 25 - (9:40pm) Six persons were wounded in two separate terror attacks tonight, one in the Shomron and the second in southern Israel, in the Negev region.
The first attack took place shortly before 8:00pm. Gunfire was directed at a passenger vehicle traveling in the Benjamin Regional Council district of the Shomron, between the communities of N'vei Tzuf and Ateret. Army officials report at least 15 AK-47 shells were found at the scene, fired at the intended victims, with 6 shells striking the vehicle. The victims, 43 and 19, were transported to the trauma unit of Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem where they are reported to be in moderate and light condition respectively.
Elsewhere, a short time later, Qassam rockets were fired from northern PA-controlled Gaza into southern Green Line Israel. Magen David Adom emergency medical service officials reported four persons were treated and transported for smoke inhalation. Security officials report damage was sustained as a result of the attack.
Other Oslo War news tonight includes the following attacks, all reported without injuries. A tank was targeted by gunfire in the Gush Katif district… security guards on the Trans-Israel Highway were targeted by gunfire from PA-controlled Qalkilya.
2. Siege Continues
IDF and PA representatives were said to meet this afternoon in an attempt to end the ongoing siege around Arafat's Mukata complex in Ramallah. Israel demands that the 50 wanted terrorists inside - who are responsible for many fatal attacks against Israelis - give themselves up. Saeb Erekat of the PA, however, said that the Arab representatives did not show up to the planned meeting, in protest of Israel's refusal to allow Arafat to meet EU representative Migel Mauritinus.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says that Israel wants to end the matter "quickly and without bloodshed, but also without giving away free gifts." He met with Ambassadors from the U.S., Great Britain, and other countries today, many of whom grilled him on the purpose of the siege around the Mukata. Peres emphasized that Arafat is in no danger.
3. More Than Half In P.A. Support Suicide Attacks
A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) reveals that 51.3% of Arabs in Yesha (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) and Jerusalem are in favor of murderous suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in pre-1967 Israel. 45.4% of those surveyed feel that the PLO-initiated Oslo War should continue. In addition, 71.8% feel that Palestinians should support Iraq as they did in 1991, if the United States strikes it again. 1,085 Arab adults participated in the random sample survey.
A Palestinian terrorist was caught today by IDF soldiers and local guards while he was trying to infiltrate the community of Oranit, just north of Rosh HaAyin. He was arrested while cutting the fence around the town, and was transferred to the GSS for questioning.
Hospital officials report a significant improvement in the condition of 9-year-old terrorist shooting victim Yehoshua [Hershel ben Rivka] Shapira, who is now conscious and listed in moderate condition. His two brothers, Pinchas, 12, and Yehuda, 18, who were less seriously hurt, are also showing signs of improvement. Their father, Shlomo Yitzchak Shapira, 48, was murdered in the attack that took place in Hevron two days ago.
4. More Terrorism Attempts
Israeli military forces blew up another workshop for the production of war materials during an overnight anti-terror offensive in Gaza. Among the nine Arabs killed in the Gaza operation was Nassin Naif Nasser Ali, a leading Hamas terrorist. The army also razed the homes of several terrorists. This afternoon, they demolished three abandoned buildings near Netzarim, in which three ready-to-fire anti-tank launchers were found. The destroyed structures also served as terrorist hideouts.
An IDF Nachal force on its way to arrest a Hamas terrorist today was attacked by bombs and gunshots. The soldiers, unhurt, returned fire - and then proceeded to the Hamas terrorist's house, where they arrested him... Arabs stoned an Israeli bus south of Gush Etzion this morning, and an IDF force was targeted by gunfire this morning in Gush Katif; no one was hurt… Israeli soldiers destroyed the homes of the terrorists who murdered four Israelis, including a 5-year-old girl, in Adura five months ago… Israeli security forces arrested 13 wanted Arab terrorist suspects during the night in the Tul Karem and Jenin regions… The army removed the curfew from Ramallah and Tul Karem this morning, for the first time since the deadly Tel Aviv attack of six days ago...
5. US Ambassador Pays Holiday Visit To Rabbis, And More
Ambassador Dan Kurtzer, saying that the Sukkot holiday is a time for him to visit "Torah giants," called on three rabbis in their Sukkahs last night: Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party; the Belzer leader, Rabbi Yisachar Dov Rokach; and Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv, leader of the hareidi yeshiva world. Rabbi Rokach said that the U.S. support for Israel is "not a simple matter, and it stems from Divine Providence..."
Work on Israel's first desalination facility was begun today. Construction on the plant, in the port city of Ashkelon, is expected to be completed 18 months from now, in March 2004. It is designed to produce 100 million cubic meters of water a year...
A joyous ceremony was held this afternoon in Rechelim, between Ariel and Shilo, in honor of the town's newest neighborhood. It is the first Rechelim neighborhood to be built by the Housing Ministry. Rechelim was established as an outpost in 1992. Rabbis, Knesset Members and other public figures were among the more than 1,500 people in attendance...