< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Arabs shoot and kill three Israelis in ambush near Ofra

One wounded
Palestinians opened fire from very close range on a group of Israelis walking on Road 60 near the settlement of Ofra northeast of Ramallah, killing three Israelis and wounding one other, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

Magen David Adom said three Israelis were critically wounded in the attack and died soon after they were hit. One other Israeli was moderately wounded in the attack, which occured at around 7PM near to the settlement of Ofra and the Arab village of Ein Yabrud in the West Bank.

Media reports point to the possibility that the shots came from the Arab village. Ein Yarub has been sealed, as have all roads leading into and out of the area. Large numbers of troops have entered the village in search of the shooters.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, linked to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Brigades have been active in the area, which is near the town of Ramallah, where Arafat has his headquarters.

After most attacks in the area, terrorists flee into Ramallah, Israel Radio reported. Israel TV said that because of the severity of the attack, Israeli forces were likely to enter Ramallah.

Israel Radio reported that Palestinians opened "massive" fire on the group of Israelis, and also threw grenades at them in what appears to be an ambush. Other reports said that the Israelis were fired on by a passing car.
Justice Minister Yosef Lapid, being interviewed on Channel One TV when news of the terror attack came in, condemned the shooting and held Palestinian leaders responsible.

"These madmen causing us sorrow and pain are also causing the Palestinians a deterioration into helplessness. The Palestinians don't realize the disaster they are bringing upon themselves," Lapid said.