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Thursday, August 28, 2003

Arutz Sheva:
Miracle in Kfar Darom, Gush Katif Under Fire
In one of the most violent nights in Jewish Gaza in recent memory, no fewer than seven mortar shells were fired at Kfar Darom, and other Jewish communities were attacked with gunfire. One shell landed on a building in which dozens of people were watching a movie - yet no one was hurt.

A group of about 30 men from Kfar Darom gathered last night in the "Torah and Land of Israel Museum" to watch the movie "Adjusting Sights," based on a book by Rabbi Chaim Sabato describing the experiences of a religious soldier during the Yom Kippur War. A tremendous boom suddenly rocked the building: a shell smashed through the roof of the two-story building and through the second floor, landing on the ground floor. No one was hurt. "The viewers took a break from the movie in order to watch the 'real thing,'" Katif.net reported, "amazed and thankful at the tremendous miracle they had just experienced."

Dror Aryeh, one of those watching the movie, told Arutz-7 this morning, "As we were watching the explosions of war on the movie, we heard a shell fall not far from the building. A few seconds later, another shell fell on the museum, about five feet from the room in which we were sitting. The bomb fell through the roof and through the next floor, causing tremendous damage, shrapnel, and smoke. Separating us from the museum was only a thin plasterboard wall, which shrapnel penetrated and even passed only centimeters from our heads. It is very hard to explain - except that it was a pure miracle..."

Asked what they did, Dror said, "We first made sure that no one was hurt, and then we acted according to the procedure, running towards a more protected area - even though we had thought that we were already in a protected area... Only three days ago, a shell fell near a house here in Kfar Darom, destroying the outer window. The window fell in, as did shrapnel, and again by a miracle no one was inside at the time." Despite all, he said that life continues as usual, and that six new families are even moving in this summer.

In other incidents last night, terrorists and soldiers exchanged fire, sometimes for long durations, in various places throughout Gush Katif and other areas of Jewish Gaza. No one was hurt.

The attacks continued this morning, with shots at a convoy of cars driving from Netzarim to Karni; no one was hurt. IDF troops discovered, and neutralized, three explosive devices adjacent to the fence near the greenhouses of Moshav Ganei Tal.

IDF forces destroyed the home of an Islamic Jihad terrorist near Jenin last night. He was one of two Arabs who infiltrated Moshav Gadish, south of Afula, this past January and murdered Eli Biton, 48, father of four, and wounded four others. The two terrorists took cover for over an hour and a half in one of the community's homes, until they were finally killed by security forces.

Rockets on Ashkelon!
Arutz Sheva: Yet another "milestone" in the Oslo process was passed today: Four Kassam rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon, about nine kilometers north of the Gaza Strip. No one was hurt in the attack, of which only one rocket has so far been recovered.

It should be noted, however, that in 1994, after the original "Gaza and Jericho first" agreement, then-Likud MK Ariel Sharon told the Knesset that it would only be a matter of time before the PA fires katyushas from Gaza onto Ashkelon; later, then-Labor party Minister Chaim Ramon mocked Sharon and said, "Where are the katyushas that you promised us?" MK Ramon's spokesperson said that he is currently abroad and unavailable for comment.

Some Cabinet ministers responded sharply (albeit verbally) to today's attack. Tourism Minister Benny Elon said that the establishment of a Palestinian state is equivalent to "the implementation of a policy of rockets at Israeli cities," and that the Government of Israel "must liquidate the Palestinian Authority."