Israel stunned by Palestinian attacks

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 11:01:50 -0000

 Israeli army roadblock at Kalandia
Checkpoints - viewed with hatred by many Palestinians

Devastating Palestinian attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem have
killed at least 20 Israelis. 


The state of Israel knows how to defend the people of Israel, and will
do so 

Israeli Government spokesman 
Ten people, most of them soldiers, were shot dead early on Sunday when a
Palestinian gunman opened fire at an Israeli army checkpoint near the
Jewish settlement of Ofra. 

Hours earlier in Jerusalem, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed nine
people in the Jewish neighbourhood of Beit Israel. 

And there has also been a shooting incident at another checkpoint in
southern Israel near the Gaza Strip, in which one Israeli soldier died
and several others were injured. 

The BBC's Nick Childs in Jerusalem says these are the latest incidents
in a rapidly accelerating new cycle of violence. 

He adds that, as the Israeli cabinet met on Sunday morning to consider
how to respond, the situation on the ground appeared to be spiralling
out of control. 

The mounting Israeli death toll is likely to increase public pressure on
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to take even tougher military action against
the Palestinians. 

Israeli F-16 warplanes have already attacked Palestinian targets in the
West Bank city of Ramallah. There are as yet no reports of casualties. 

Seventeen months of violence since the Palestinians began an uprising
against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has claimed the
lives of more than 1,200 people - most of them Palestinian. 

 Injured man at Beit Israel

The Jerusalem blast left dozens injured

The attack on the military checkpoint in the West Bank saw Palestinian
gunmen open fire from surrounding hills on the road block and the cars
waiting there. 

In addition to the nine Israelis killed in the attack, some 14 are
reported to have been wounded. 

Motorist Eli Barashi said he was about 300 yards from the checkpoint at
the time. 

"I heard shooting and I saw the soldiers firing back to the east. As I
stood there somebody was hit and fell and shouted for a medic. He was
about five yards from me," he told Israel Radio. 

The attack followed Saturday's suicide bombing in an ultra-orthodox
neighbourhood of Jerusalem. 

 Residents of Balata camp react to explosions during Israel's incursion

Palestinians are bitter about refugee camp deaths

The suicide bomber targeted people as they poured onto the streets at
the end of the Jewish Sabbath. 

Several children, including an 18-month-old baby girl, were among the
dead, and more than 30 people were wounded. 

"It was crazy. There were kids and adults running all over the place. I
saw one woman sitting on the pavement screaming that her son had been
killed," said one witness, a 22-year-old religious student from Britain.

Israel responded to the Jerusalem bombing with missile attacks by
helicopter gunships on targets in Bethlehem. 

Israeli military officials said a Palestinian government building and a
weapons factory were hit. There were no reported casualties. 


The Palestinian Authority has condemned the suicide bombing, but some
Palestinians celebrated the news of more Israeli blood being shed. 

A military offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah
movement, the al-Aqsa Brigades, claimed responsibility for the bombing. 

The group said it was a response to Israel's unprecedented assault on
two West Bank refugee camps which left more than 20 Palestinians dead. 

The Israeli army now says it has pulled out of the Balata refugee camp
in Nablus after completing a search for Palestinian militants and
weapons. Soldiers withdrew from the other camp, in Jenin, on Saturday.

Source: BBC

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