A collection of the week's news from Israel
7 Tishrei 5761
October 6, 2000
Issue number 293
This was a most tragic week in Israel. Arafat and his band of terrorists, as well as Arab citizens of Israel, used rifles we gave them to kill our policemen and our soldiers. We lost five brave Israelis who died in the defence of Israel and its citizens - on both sides of the "Green Line". We pay tribute to them;
With the volume of news for this week, including a recap of the week’s horrible events, there is no room for commentary, of which there is much to print. See the Yom Kippur issue for those.
Best wishes for a Shabbat Shalom and a G’mar Chatima Tova. - Ed.
Israeli-Arab Violence Shocks Israeli Public
Israel's daily paper Ma'ariv, not known for its right-wing views, editorialized Wednesday: "Over the years, leaders of the Arab public explained that the continuing discrimination against Israeli Arabs is what led to feelings of bitterness and frustration. There was much justice in such remarks. But it is now clear that the traditional claim of discrimination is only a cover for the true motive. Those who are outraged over discrimination demonstrate, but do not shout 'Death to the Jews'. Those who shout 'Slaughter the Jews' do not want a working sewage system, but rather a Palestinian state on the ruins of Israel."
Gershon Adani, a 35-year-old father of two, from the Galilee town of Oshrah near Acre, described what happened to him Tuesday: "I was on my way home, when suddenly I was stopped by a mob of Israeli-Arabs. They were stopping all the drivers, and asking to see their papers. They let the Arab drivers go, but not the Jewish ones. I started to tell them that I was their neighbor, and have lived here among them for years, etc., but they began pelting me with bricks, rocks, and anything else... I ran into the car, locked the door shut, and somehow was able to get through the roadblock. I was hurt very badly. I got to a police checkpoint, but they couldn't help me because the ambulance was not able to get through the Arab roadblock." Adani said, "I was among those who believed in co-existence and the like. But now, I don't know, something has really changed in my thinking... I don't know if we can go back to what it was like before... I am not optimistic about the future." Erez Kreisler, head of the Misgav Regional Council in the Galilee, responded to the above: "In the past few days, there have been 170 incidents here: 30 attacks on Jewish towns, 10 firebombs and shooting, 20 roadblocks, 40 cases of rocks and bricks, and 70 cases of arson. This is a real war situation - our children didn't go to school, and we were stuck inside our towns. Only after it was understood that there was an existential danger to the towns did we get help from police and army. [Regarding the future of Jewish-Arab relations:] We worked hard for years to plant the seeds of cooperation and harmonic co-existence, and what we have harvested is hatred. I believed that we could live together... I knew that there would be disputes, but I never dreamt that it would reach such an existentially-dangerous extent as actual attempts to burn our towns down to the ground." Journalist Amnon Lord of Makor Rishon, a former Peace Now member, discussed his reaction, and that of his left-wing friends, to the present Israeli-Arab violence: "What is clear is that something very serious is happening, true seismic shockwaves...It has even surprised me to a certain extent, because though I have changed some of my opinions [over the years], I never thought I would come to this conclusion: Israel's Arabs are our number-one enemy. Some of my friends on the left have also come to this conclusion, but they are surprised, and say that it is a bitter truth."
Prominent Israeli-Arabs came out with warlike statements Tuesday. Famous Arab actor Ahmed Bakri, who lives in the Galilee, said that the Arabs of Israel must begin an armed struggle to obtain what they deserve. MK Azmi Bishara said that there is an increase in the willingness of Israeli-Arabs to sacrifice their lives on behalf of the Al-Aksa mosque. A sample: Yaakov Ben-Hamu, 35, of Kibbutz Beit Alfa, was driving east along the Wadi Iron (Wadi Ara) highway yesterday, between Um el-Fahm and Afula, when his way was blocked some 15 masked Arabs. They noticed that he was Jewish, dragged him out of the car, and began kicking and punching him. The driver of a passing bus saw what was happening and picked him up; there was nothing left for Ben-Hamu to do but watch out the window as the Arabs torched his car. He submitted a complaint at the nearby police station. A similar incident happened later in the same area, when a bus driver was forcibly removed from his vehicle, and the bus was set ablaze. (arutzsheva.org Oct 3-4)
Israeli Gov't: Sharon Not to Blame
Israeli politicians are largely in consensus that MK Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount last week is not to blame for this week’s violence. Prime Minister Barak told Israel Radio last Friday that Palestinian incitement after Sharon's visit was to blame for that day's violence in Jerusalem. At Monday's Cabinet meeting, the ministers were unanimous in blaming Yasser Arafat for the "premeditated and staged riots." In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright yesterday, MK Sharon protested the State Department's accusation that it was his visit to the Temple Mount that ignited the violence: "I find it most regrettable and disturbing that your spokesman has been swayed by slanderous propaganda on the part of the Palestinian leaders and media, intended to put pressure on Israel and the U.S. to make additional concessions in the negotiations, under threat of violence if their demands are not met...Israel's security establishment has publicly presented its conclusions that the violent riots and armed confrontations are part of a premeditated and organized campaign initiated by the Palestinian Authority, [which] began over ten days ago in the Netzarim area in Gaza...These riots have spread out through the deliberate incitement (prior to the visit) by the 'Tanzim' (the armed militia of Chairman Arafat's Fatah organization). Last Friday, Arafat instructed the 'Tanzim' to escalate the riots. Moreover, Palestinian Security Chiefs have been directly involved in inciting the violence and in ordering Palestinian Police to open fire on Israeli soldiers, Police and civilians. Arab Members of the Knesset have contributed to and joined this violent campaign by repeated incitement calling Arab Israelis as well as Palestinians to resort to violence prior, during, and after my visit to The Temple Mount...The united city of Jerusalem [and the] Temple Mount are under full Israeli sovereignty. Neither I, nor any Israeli citizen, need to seek permission from the PA or from any foreign entity to visit there or any other site which is sovereign territory of the State of Israel." (arutzsheva.org/IMRA Oct 3)
The Palestinian Incitement That Preceded the Wave
Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch said that the wave of violence "should not have surprised anyone who has been following the Palestinian media." He said that similar scenes of violence are constantly screened on Palestinian television "in between movies and shows. They show a few seconds of intifada violence, together with narrated incitement. This is how the PA wishes to inculcate its residents." More samples of Palestinian hatred and incitement that cannot be divorced from the Rosh HaShanah violence: "This Mosque [El Aksa] will not be liberated until Jihad will be declared by a trusted authority... I call all the Muslims to work for this purpose." - from a Friday sermon on the Temple Mount, Friday, Sept. 29, 2000."There is no alternative but to destroy Israel" blares the title page of a new 6th-grade textbook in the Palestinian Authority, while the back cover features, "The Jewish claim to Palestine is the greatest lie known to humanity." Volume 2 of the same set states, "Perhaps Allah brought the Jews to our land in order to annihilate them, as during their war against Rome." "The dead shall not rise until the Palestinians shall kill the Jews… All agreements with Israel are provisional…" (a Friday sermon screened on PLO television, July 28 and August 11, 2000). Another Temple Mount sermon, from Sep. 8 of this year, stated, "Palestine ? the holy Moslem land - is indivisible, whether in Haifa, Nablus, Jerusalem or Nazareth. It would be treacherous to concede any part of Palestine." "Oslo is a foot in the door, rather than a permanent peace accord, until the revolution attains its 1965 goal [from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean]," claimed PLO Cabinet Member Shahin (quoted in Al-Ayam, May 30, 2000). (arutzsheva.org Oct 2)
The Real Story Behind the Tragic Footage
Television stations around the world have shown footage of a young Palestinian boy cowering behind his father only moments before being killed by "Israeli" bullets. Contrary to the insinuations, however, the Israeli troops could not see the two, and in fact could not see who was responsible for the shooting coming at them from behind a barrier. The boy and his father found themselves amidst crossfire. Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami and IDF generals decried the "cynical use made by the Palestinians of women and children by placing them in the front lines." CNN reported Monday that the boy's mother "lured him away from the ranks of young stone-throwers by telling him to accompany his father [on an errand]," and that "the slain boy's relatives freely acknowledged that he often joined other children from the camp in throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers." (arutzsheva.org Oct 2)
If He's Beaten, He Must Be Palestinian
This past Saturday, The New York Times and many other papers published a picture - supplied by the Associated Press - of an angry Israeli policeman and a badly-beaten and bloodied man, with the caption, "An Israeli policeman and a Palestinian on the Temple Mount." The picture can be seen at <http://www.IsraelNationalNews.com>. Dr. Aaron Grossman, of Chicago, Ill., sent the following letter to the Times: "Regarding your picture on page A5 (Sept. 30) of the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian on the Temple Mount - that Palestinian is actually my son, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He, and two of his friends, were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of Palestinian Arabs and were severely beaten and stabbed. That picture could not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from the mob." Tuvia Grossman was on his way to the Western Wall on Friday afternoon, and has been hospitalized ever since with head injuries and a stab wound. He told Arutz-7 Wednesday, "I was in a taxi on the way to the Kotel [Western Wall] and we got stoned... [They took me out of the car and beat me and] I gave a scream, and for a second they let go of me, and I said Shma Yisrael, because I thought it was all over... After they let go of me, I ran - even though I had a knife in my leg, G-d gave me the strength to run and I was able to make it up the hill where there were soldiers by the gas station and they took care of me. But I was being beaten for around 5 or 6 minutes with a rock on the top of my head, and I was stabbed in the back of my leg and kicked and punched all over my body. [When I saw the mis-captioned AP picture] I was extremely, extremely upset. People see a picture of a youth and they think that it's a Palestinian being beaten by Israelis, it changes their world view and makes them think that it's the Israelis beating up the Arabs. I was extremely upset. It was totally the opposite. That policeman was yelling at the Arabs to back off, and was protecting me from them - so to change it around and to say that he was beating me, that's just total distortion, and the world must be notified about how this is not true - the Jews are the ones suffering at the hands of the Arabs." The Times published a correction Wednesday, in which it identified Tuvia Grossman as "an American student in Israel" - not as a Jew who was beaten by Arabs. The "correction" also noted that "Mr. Grossman was wounded" in "Jerusalem's Old City" - although in fact it occurred in an Arab-populated neighborhood of Jerusalem, not in the Old City. An Associated Press spokesman told Arutz-7 that it was looking into the matter. (arutzsheva.org Oct 4)
Arabs Remove Victims, Torch Ambulances
The Jerusalem manager of Israel's Red Cross, Magen David Adom, reports that Arabs attacked not only ambulances that entered the Old City to treat Jews, but even those that came to treat Arabs. Yonatan Yagodovsky says that four medics were hurt when Arabs hurled stones into one ambulance near Lion's Gate, as the medics were giving aid near the Temple Mount last Friday. Yagodovsky says Arabs realized that the medics were treating other Arabs, because the mob took the victims out of the ambulances before attacking with stones. Then the Arabs burned the ambulance completely. (arutzsheva.org Oct 2)
Violence Spreads Internationally
Anti-semitic violence has started in New York, and possibly several other places as well. In the Jewish neighborhood of Boro Park, Brooklyn, several Jews were been beaten on Tuesday and Wednesday by "Arab-looking" attackers, one Jew was injured when he was thrown from a train platform to the ground two floors below, and a bus of one of the local yeshivot was burnt. On Monday night in Dusseldorf, Germany, a synagogue was firebombed... (A7 Oct 4)
Which Voice to Sound?
Gabi Boutboul, a ranking member of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, said that at his demand, the IBA governing board is to convene to discuss what he called the "over-abundance of PLO propagandists on Israel Radio of late." He explained to Arutz-7 Wednesday, "Yesterday, I received many telephones asking me why Israel Radio seems to have turned into a PLO station... I turned on the morning magazine today, and who do I hear but the commander of the Tanzim, explaining why it's OK to kill our soldiers. We have heard [Israeli-Arab MK and Arafat-advisor] Ahmed Tibi a disproportionate amount of times since Friday, as well as [Israeli-Arab MK] Dahamshe - the man who has attacked all that is sacred to Israel and Judaism, and was even sentenced to prison for ten years for terrorist activity!" Boutboul said that if the editors tell him that it is important to 'hear the other side,' "I say: Not during war! What we have to hear is the side of our country and that of most of the population. Instead, we give an open microphone to the other side to tell us why they should shoot our soldiers." (arutzsheva.org Oct 4)
Yesha Travel Limitations, Security and Growth
Bitterness continues to abound in Yesha regarding the travel limitations instituted by the army on Jewish civilian traffic. The towns were closed to incoming and outgoing traffic much of the week, with buses and convoys of cars also permitted some of the time. In the course of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, Yesha communities set up command centers. Security has been beefed up in the settlements, and the IDF has been in regular contact with community heads and their security officers. President Moshe Katzav wrote to Yesha residents today: "You are fulfilling an important national mission… I wish to encourage you in the face of the wave of Palestinian violence against you." The Jewish population of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza is now more than twice what it was when the Oslo agreement was signed, seven years ago. Some 210,000 people now live in Yesha communities. Gush Etzion's Nokdim, for instance, has grown from 35 families to 150 since the Oslo agreement, while Netzarim has 70 families, up from 25. A new neighborhood was dedicated in the city of Kiryat Arba Wednesday, comprised of 42 housing units. Two other neighborhoods are under construction there as well. (A7 Sept 29 - Oct 3)
Population Stats Show Rise in Aliyah
73,000 immigrants arrived in Israel during the past year, as opposed to 63,000 the previous year. Almost 90% of these came from the former USSR as a whole, with 36% coming from the Russian Federation alone. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported that the population of the State of Israel stands at 6.3 million, of which 82% (5.15 million) are "Jews and others" and 18% (1.15 million) are Arabs. Included in "Jews and others" are 4.95 million people registered as Jews in the population registry (78.57% of the country's total population) and approximately 200,000 non-Jewish new immigrants and their family members (of whom 180,000 are not classified vis-a-vis religion; the remaining 20,000 are classified as Christians). In the past year, the country's population grew by 165,000. (A7 Sep 28)
Wednesday: Arabs Attempt to Conquer Jewish Sites in Gaza
Heavy exchanges of fire resumed Wednesday afternoon at the Netzarim junction in Gaza. After Palestinian snipers shot at the Israeli outpost there, Israel responded with machine-gun and helicopter fire towards the Palestinian "twin towers" [tall buildings] there. Israeli forces were been rushed to Gush Katif, where a mob of Arabs gathered outside the gates of the IDF command post. Early Wednesday morning hundreds of Palestinians marched along the seashore, to the west of Netzarim, and then attempted to break through the town's gates while throwing stone blocks and the like. They were repelled by the IDF. This method of Palestinian attack is a departure from past Palestinian practice of attacking from the road on the east. Shooting incidents have been sharply on the upswing in the Palestinian violence. They included an incident Wednesday afternoon in which an Israeli passenger was wounded lightly when shots were fired on a public bus on its way to Gush Etzion. The incident occurred between the road's two tunnels, and Egged has announced that it has stopped service along the road. Shots were also fired this afternoon at buildings in Beitar Illit, cars near the Latrun junction, at Netzarim, and at Joseph's Tomb. Senior officers in Shechem told residents of nearby Elon Moreh that the Palestinian snipers are aware of the Israeli policy of "selective and restrained retaliatory shooting," and therefore hide behind a group of civilians when they shoot upon Israeli soldiers. IDF Chief of Staff Mofaz said Wednesday that he would consider a possible evacuation of soldiers from Joseph's Tomb, if an "unreasonable danger to the soldiers there" develops. Israel Radio reported that the army requested twice, over the past four days, that the soldiers be removed from the compound in Shechem, but the government objected, for fear that this would lead to a greater Palestinian appetite for more such gains. An Arab sniper fired Tuesday night from a hill overlooking the Avraham Avinu neighborhood of Hevron. Jews this morning found some ten bullet holes in a home, a car, and a kindergarten. No one was hurt. A pipe bomb was also later hurled at an army base in the center of Hebron. A short but violent Arab outburst occurred today in Jaffa, when a mob of Arabs attacked Israeli and international journalists. An Israeli and Italian reporter were wounded... Several Israeli soldiers were wounded over the night and early morning - one by gunfire at the Adam junction north of Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev, one in Gush Etzion, and two in Morag in the Gaza Strip when Arabs opened fire on a bus. An Israeli woman was hurt by bricks thrown at her car near Ariel... Well over 40 cases of rock-throwing at Jewish cars have been registered in Lod and Ramle Tuesday night and Wednesday... Arab-instigated violence was reported in Jerusalem's Armon HaNetziv neighborhood, on the Modi'in-Givat Ze'ev highway, the Kiryat Arba-Kiryat Gat road, and near Eli... Over 100 cases of arson have been reported. One of the latest is a giant blaze between Rosh Ha'Ayin and Petach Tikvah, which is advancing towards the Jewish communities of Matan, Nirit, and Yarchit...Mail has not reached or left several Jewish communities south of Hevron - Beit Haggai, Adurah, and Otniel - Since Sunday. A Postal Authority spokesman said that the army had requested that travel in the area be minimized. Damaged estimated at over four million shekels has been caused at many intersections within the Green Line. Traffic lights, lampposts, highway fences, and signs were uprooted by the Israeli-Arab "demonstrators." Voice of Israel Radio reported today that it is not yet clear who will pay for this damage. Official statistics show 49 Arabs dead and 1,878 wounded since the beginning of the violence.
Shlomo Gravitz, a senior Jewish National Fund leader, reacted today to the forest fires in northern Israel: - "There have been 80 cases of arson in the past day, destroying thousands of dunams of forest. It is definite that they were all arson, without exception. It was systematically done - torching one place after another, in order to destroy the forests of the Land of Israel. In several areas, the Arabs even tried to prevent firemen from putting out the fires. They themselves desecrate the same land that they claim to hold holy." (arutzsheva.org Oct 4)
Tuesday: Ceasefire Collapses; "Worst May Be Ahead"
Hints that the Israeli-PLO ceasefire agreement of Tuesday morning had failed began trickling in most of the day, but the clearest sign came late this afternoon when Arabs began firing on distant Israeli targets at the Ayosh junction, north of Ramallah. Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon told reporters Tuesday, "We totally withdrew our forces from the area, so that it could not be claimed that we were causing provocations - but it didn't work, and the Palestinians resumed the violence. This is something that is clearly organized by the PA, and could be stopped with one order [from Arafat]." Ya'alon said that he believes the worst of the riots are still ahead of us, and noted that Israeli-Arabs and Yesha Arab instigators are working together. Riots and violence resumed in several other places in the early afternoon:* In the Israeli-Arab towns of Um el-Fahm, Taibe, and Tira, residents threw firebombs and rocks at policemen: * In the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan, rocks were hurled on IDF positions at the foot of the Hermon. * Rocks and riots were the order of the day in Khan Yunis, Jenin, and near Jericho.* In Jerusalem, two firebombs were thrown at Armon HaNetziv, and rocks were hurled on outlying Ramot houses.* Border Guard jeeps were fired on in at least two cases Tuesday morning. Forests near Dolev in Binyamin, and Sakhnin and Kibbutz Yodfat in the Galilee, were set ablaze. A policeman was hurt by a stone at the Arab village of Daburiye, at the foot Mt. Tavor, west of Tiberias.Several roads are still closed throughout the Galilee and Yesha, including the Givat Ze'ev- Modi'in highway. A Molotov cocktail and many rocks were thrown at passing cars on the road. Israeli cars are travelling on the Nachal Iron (Wadi Ara) highway - adjacent to Um el -Fahm - only in Border Guard-accompanied convoys. The Binyamin community of Psagot - where one soldier was injured - and Gaza were the scenes of gunfire exchanges throughout the night, while the Arabs of Haifa, Acre, and Nazareth rioted Monday night.
The most severe violence Tuesday took place in the afternoon in Hevron, western Tulkarm, Netzarim, Shechem, and near Nazareth. In Hevron, shots were fired towards Beit Hadassah at about 4 PM, and a homemade explosive was hurled towards the homes in Admot Yeshai. These caused no casualties or damage. One Border Guard policeman was wounded by rocks thrown at him by Hevron Arabs, and one Arab was reportedly killed. Hevron residents say, despite this, that the policemen have been instructed not to fire back at the stone throwers, and that they are therefore responding with rocks of their own. A battle raged Tuesday afternoon in the area of Joseph's Tomb in Shechem, and a large fire was reported in the area of the Tomb-yeshiva compound. Residents of nearby Elon Moreh reported hearing three large explosions near the area of the compound. The yeshiva suffered major damage in a fire under similar circumstances during the battles of four years ago. At the Bat Hefer Industrial Park, near Tulkarm, another building was set afire today, after three Jewish factories were torched last night. Firemen were instructed by security forces not to approach the area. In Tulkarm itself, a protracted gun battle took place between IDF soldiers and armed Palestinians in the afternoon. IDF forces in the industrial area saw a Palestinian with a LAU missile; they fired at him, but he escaped. Severe rioting resumed shortly before 1 PM at the Netzarim Junction today, and the IDF was again forced to resort to the use of combat helicopters. Arab snipers were attempting to shoot Israeli soldiers, and one Palestinian was killed. A Gaza Coast Regional Council spokesperson told Arutz-7 Tuesday that Netzarim has essentially been under siege since Saturday morning. Basic food supplies have been delivered by helicopter. (arutzsheva.org Oct 3)
Monday: More Israeli Victims
A 24-year-old Ashdod man, a new immigrant to Israel, was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists in the northern Shomron, while waiting for his car to be serviced in a local Arab-run garage. The number of Palestinians killed has reached some three dozen, not including three Israeli-Arabs who were killed in the course of violent demonstrations in Um el-Fahm and Nazareth. Prime Minister Barak that he intends to continue the diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians. "It is too early to eulogize the diplomatic process," he said. Army sources are "fuming" at the political echelons for not allowing them to respond more forcefully against the rioters. Yesha Council leader Shlomo Filber said that even simple administrative sanctions against the Arab residents are not being implemented, such as limitations on Palestinian traffic and the shutting off of electricity. The rioting and violence reached many Israeli areas such as Jaffa, Jerusalem, Negev, Galilee, the Triangle (between Afula and Hadera), and Acre. Major rioting occurred in Jaffa and Um el-Fahm. Following Monday's Cabinet meeting, a statement was released relating to both the Israeli-Arab-instigated violence and that started by the PA. Regarding the former, the statement said, "The Government believes that the vast majority of the Israeli Arab population strives for integration and involvement in Israeli society and peaceful coexistence, and that it is unfortunate that extreme elements within this sector are attempting to incite towards extremism. We call on this sector to show restraint. The statement then turned to the Palestinian Authority and called upon it "and its leadership to take unequivocal measures to put an end to the riots and violations of public order. We regret the fact that Palestinians were injured as a result of the need to respond to the conduct of the Palestinian Authority and its policemen."
After a relatively quiet morning, rioting was renewed in the afternoon in several locations on both sides of the "Green Line." For the first time in 30 years, rioting took place in the Old City of Acre. Intensive stone-throwing resumed at Beit Rimon, near Nazareth, where the road to Tel Adashim was therefore closed. Rioting resumed during the funeral of the Arab demonstrator in Um-El Fahm, preceded by the torching of groves near the city by Arab arsonists. The nearby highway - the main route leading from the Galilee, Afula, and the Kinneret-Golan region to central Israel - was again closed. The road near the coastal town of Zikhron Ya'akov was also sealed because of a barrage of stones thrown by Israeli-Arabs in the vicinity. Hundreds of Arabs rioted at an industrial park in Rosh Ha'ayin, adjacent to the Israel-Arab town of Kfar Kassem. They blocked the road, and stoned and torched Jewish cars there. A police commander was lightly injured by rocks when police chased the rioters back into their village. MK Yisrael Katz (Likud) urged the government to impose closures on all Arab villages responsible for igniting the riots. "Ehud Barak continues to ignore evidence of the rising extremism characteristic of the Islamic movement and the Israeli-Arab leadership and its role in the riots," said Katz. National Religious Party MK Sha'ul Yahalom challenged Israel's Arab citizens to decide "whether you are for us or our enemies." Shinui leader MK Yosef (Tommy) Lapid also called on Israeli-Arabs to put an end to their violence. The police detained some 100 Arabs who participated in the violent riots in Jerusalem and in Israeli-Arab villages. Police Chief Yehuda Wilk asserted that the police would not settle for enforcing the law only on the rioters, but would bring the inciters and organizers to justice as well.
Riots flared up in Netzarim, and the army brought in battle helicopters. Earlier, a would-be Arab infiltrator into an IDF base near Netzarim was shot and wounded. Meanwhile, two firebombs were tossed at troops at the IDF base in Kfar Darom in Gaza, while an Arab mob tried to break into the industrial park in Gush Katif this afternoon. IDF forces successfully repelled them. Nearby, Arab snipers fired on an IDF patrol traveling between Khan Yunis and N'vei Dekalim. In Hevron, shots were fired on Israeli army targets, following the hurling of firebombs and rocks. Arabs also fired shots on two civilian buses outside Shilo, and there was intermittent shooting on the Binyamin town of Psagot, which borders on the PA town of El-Bireh. Residents of Psagot were asked to remain in their homes. Disturbances were registered at Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and Gaza. Heavy rock-throwing occurred on the Ma'aleh Adumim-Jerusalem road; one driver lost control of his vehicle as a result, and he and his six passengers were injured. Riots took place at Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, and cars on the Tekoa-Jerusalem road were shot at; the road was soon closed. Sunday night, shots were fired by a passing car towards the front gate of Shavei Shomron, a Jewish town west of Shechem; no one was hurt. Hundreds of Arabs attempted to take over the Sa-Nur army base north of Shechem Sunday night, but were repelled by the soldiers; a tank was brought in for the defense efforts. Also in the Shomron, a battle took place on the Har Brachah entrance road - over a kilometer away from the community itself - when a mob of Arabs attempted to storm the area. Among the four Arabs killed there was the son of the Palestinian Authority governor of Shechem. According to the government's coordinator in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Yaakov Mendy-Orr, many Palestinians owe their lives to the restraint shown by the army to date. (arutzsheva.org Oct 2)
Rosh Hashanah: War Breaks Out
Violent Arab rioting has spread from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to several locations within pre-1967 Israel. O.C. Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzchak Eitan, in a statement Sunday night, said that the responsibility for the violence of the past three days lies squarely with the Palestinian Authority. He and other Israeli generals emphasized the following: Several ceasefire arrangements had been violated by the Palestinians; the Palestinians have been making shameful use of women and children by placing them in the front lines; many Palestinian para-military policemen have been among the attackers; Israeli forces carried out only defensive operations, and did not initiate any aggression. O.C. Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yom Tov Samiyeh said that he personally attempted four ceasefires, but as soon as the Palestinians reorganized and evacuated their wounded, they started firing again. Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said that instead of helping calm the violence, para-military police and Arafat's personal Tanzim security agents fired on Israeli troops. Outside Netzarim, a missile was fired into a mob of Palestinian Arab attackers who were intent on storming the Jewish town. The Israeli soldier who was wounded in the battle at Joseph's Tomb today - a 19-year-old Border Guard policeman from the Druze village of Beit Jann - died of his wounds, after five hours of unsuccessful medical treatment. Arab gunfire on the site prevented medical help from reaching him sooner. IDF officials knew that the soldier was dying from his wounds, and they made repeated attempts to coordinate his evacuation with the Palestinian Authority. However, the PA Governor of Shechem delayed in his response, and as reported, the IDF soldier bled to death. Arutz-7 correspondent Avner Melichi noted that the son of the PA Shechem governor was killed on Saturday in gun battles with the IDF, and his funeral was held earlier today. The students in the yeshiva at Joseph's tomb had been evacuated before the holiday. Another soldier was severely wounded at the Ayosh junction, and another was lightly wounded in Gaza. Other rioting, including stone-throwings and shootings, were reported in many places throughout Israel, including several locations in the Negev, Jaffa, Um el-Fahm, Taibe, western Galilee, and more. Major rioting occurred in Jaffa; and ten Israeli civilians and policemen were injured. Fifty Israeli policemen have been injured in the battles in the north, especially at Um el-Fahm, between Hadera and Afula, where thousands of Arabs destroyed the main intersection. "They uprooted traffic lights, poles, and almost everything else they could lay their hands on," according to eye-witnesses. Battles raged outside Netzarim and in other places in Gaza, as well as the Tomb of Joseph and elsewhere. It was reported that Israel fired anti-tank missiles, hurled grenades and shot from helicopters. Several Israeli tanks approached Shechem and Ramallah, but did not cross into the city. In southern Jerusalem, an Israeli car was set ablaze in Ramat Rachel, and Arabs continue to throw rocks in several Jerusalem neighborhoods. The Western Wall was closed to Jewish worshippers only once throughout the two-day Rosh HaShanah holiday, but the Shiloach spring was closed for the holiday Tashlich service today for the first time since 1967. At the Ayosh junction, between Beit El and Ramallah, Palestinian police and rioters were firing on IDF soldiers constantly, and all Israeli attempts to lead to a ceasefire continue to fail. Roads to and from most Yesha towns are closed. The Jerusalem-Givat Ze'ev-Modiin road is closed on and off because of rock-throwings. (arutzsheva.org Oct 2)
Last Friday: PA Policeman Murders Israeli Joint-Patrol Colleague
A Border Guard policeman was killed at the hands of a Palestinian Authority terrorist. A Palestinian para-military policeman walked up to a jeep in which were sitting Israeli troops with whom he was serving in a joint patrol. The killer, screaming "Allah is Great!," shot into the jeep, killing one of the Israeli policemen. A second Israeli Border Guard policeman is in light-to-moderate condition. A closure has been instated on the Palestinian Authority city of Kalkilye, not far from Kfar Saba, and the joint patrols - an Oslo Accord mechanism under which Israeli and PA jeeps patrol together - have been suspended. The Palestinian Authority, which arrested the murderer, claims that he was mentally unstable and that the Israelis taunted him. Israeli military sources rejected this "routine" explanation, and said that there had been no Israeli instigation or any reason for the shooting. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Herzl Gedz, who formerly headed the autonomy liaison administration, said, "The Palestinian Authority's entire right to exist is based on its willingness to cooperate with Israel - not only in terms of security, but in every area." "In Gaza, Palestinian soldiers cock their guns at their Israeli soldiers almost every day for trivial reasons, while in Kalkilye this has not been the case," said Border Guard police chief Yitzchak Dadon, "and this is why this was so surprising." He could not point to a specific terrorist attack that had been prevented by the joint patrols, and said that he personally is against the renewal of the patrols. Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA notes that similar joint patrols are a key security component in the proposals for major Israeli withdrawals in a final agreement. The Yesha Council's response to the joint-patrol murder: "The fact that Palestinian police have been involved in both fatal attacks of the past days proves that Arafat never abandoned terrorism and is not a true partner in peace. The talks with Arafat must be stopped, and the IDF should be instructed to behave towards the Palestinian police as an all-out terrorist organization."
Dozens of Arabs, following their prayers on the Temple Mount, hurled rocks and other objects at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below. Israeli policemen swiftly repelled the attackers using rubber bullets, and over 60 of the Arab attackers were injured; three were killed. 20 Israeli policemen and civilians were injured and evacuated to hospitals. Jerusalem Police Chief Ya'ir Yitzchaki was rendered unconscious by an Arab-thrown stone to his head, and was taken to the hospital for treatment. Arabs also threw stones at Israeli ambulances that arrived on the scene, injuring at least one person, and preventing treatment from being offered to other victims. A roadside bomb was detonated in Gaza Thursday evening, halfway between Kibbutz Nachal Oz and the Erez Checkpoint [at the north-eastern tip of the Gaza Strip]; it missed the army jeep that it had targeted, and no one was hurt. Israeli-Arab MKs were among the instigators of Thursday's violence at the Temple Mount during the Likud Knesset Members' visit. "Murderers of Palestinians!" and "This is not your Temple Mount" were among the shouts heard from the Arab MKs. (arutzsheva.org Sep 29)
Last Thursday: Terrorist Attack Claims Life of IDF Soldier
Israeli security officials think that Hamas terrorists or perhaps the PLO's own police may be to blame for the death of a 19-year-old Israeli solider in Gaza late last Wednesday night. Sgt. David Biri of Jerusalem was guarding a line of Jewish cars returning home to Netzarim, when a small roadside bomb
exploded, and Biri went with another soldier to check on the civilians. But the Arab terrorists knew that this was standard procedure. They had planned the first bomb as a lure. When the soldiers rushed over, the Arabs set off the second deadly bomb, wounding Biri and his companion. The companion fired back at the terrorists apparently injuring at least one of them. Biri sustained fatal head wounds, and doctors struggled until Thursday afternoon to save him. Israeli soldiers chased the terrorists into Arafat-controlled territory but did not catch them. Prime Minister Ehud Barak promises that the murderers will be apprehended. He says civilians and soldiers must be able to go safely anywhere in the country. Israel's Gaza commander Brig.-Gen. Yair Naveh says Arabs are turning Gaza into another Lebanon.
At the Ayosh junction between the Jerusalem suburb of Bet El and Ramallah, hundreds of Arabs rioted for several hours Thursday as cars drove by. Israeli soldiers moved in swiftly, closed off traffic, and pushed the rioters back into Ramallah. While Arabs continued attacking the IDF troops with firebombs, stones, and bottles, the intersection was reopened to Israeli and Arab traffic. The soldiers retaliated with rubber bullets, and Arabs say 15 rioters were hurt. No Israelis were injured.
Dozens of officers were hurt when Arabs hurled large stones at them. The police were escorting Likud Knesset members on a visit led by Likud Party Chairman Ariel Sharon. Party spokesman Ofir Akounis says the visit was a statement to show that the Likud would retain control of the Mount; "every Jew has the right to pray there." Chief of Police Yehuda Wilk says that it was important to let Sharon ascend the Mount to show that there is free access to all. Police say they'll ensure the safety of any Knesset member - Jew or Arab - who wants to visit. Indeed, three Arab Knesset members were present on the Mount this morning. The Temple Mount compound is administered by the Moslem Waqf, and Sharon said today that he saw how the Waqf construction has permanently damaged ancient Jewish archaeological finds. Jerusalem district commander Yair Yitzhaki says police tried to prevent violence by talking with the Waqf beforehand, but they were not interested. Sharon told reporters, "I came here as one who believes in coexistence between Jews and Arabs. I believe that we can build and develop together. This was a peaceful visit. Is it an instigation for Israeli Jews to come to the Jewish People's holiest site? The provocations came, unfortunately, from the other side, to a large degree in answer to incitement by Arab Knesset members." The Likud's MK Reuven Rivlin says, "Today's incident proves that they don't want a single Jew in Jerusalem, or a single Jew anywhere in Israel." After visiting the Mount, Sharon said a chapter of Psalms at the Western Wall. (arutzsheva.org Sep 28)