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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Mass terror attack thwarted,
One Israeli Soldier Killed

IDF reservist, Sgt.-Maj. Amir Zimmerman, 25,
from Kfar Monash, will be laid to rest Friday.
Arutz Sheva: Two Arab terrorists, on their way to a mass shooting attack on the Ashkelon-Yad Mordechai highway this morning, were thwarted by an Israeli Army force before they could reach their target. The force killed both terrorists, but not before the latter killed one soldier.

Brig.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, Commander of the IDF Forces in Gaza, told reporters this morning that word had been received of an Arab attempt to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack from Gaza. The terrorists planned to pass through the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza, and from there proceed to an area where many Israeli motorists passed by. Precautions were initiated a few hours before dawn, including the closing of the Erez industrial zone and the dispatching of forces to seek out the terrorists.

When the terrorists were discovered, they fired a single shot, and shortly afterwards fired again, this time killing a soldier and wounding two others. Reinforcements then arrived, overcoming and killing the attackers.

It is still not clear how the terrorists arrived at the Crossing. Popular wisdom in the IDF at present is that the terrorists arrived in the area via a five-meter tunnel they dug under the Gaza perimeter fence.

The Al-Aksa Brigades of Fatah, whose most recent attack was the #14 bus bombing in Jerusalem this week, took responsibility for this morning's attack. A Kalachnikov rifle and grenades were found on the terrorists' bodies. MK Ehud Yatom (Likud) said that the terrorists are encouraged by Sharon's plan to retreat from Gaza, and wish to encourage it further.
Also, three Palestinians killed in village of Bidu, west of Jerusalem, during a violent protest against construction of the security fence. These are the first fatalties in the now four days of Palestinian demonstrations. The first day was Monday, Arafat having declared a "Day of Rage" (right after Sunday's bombing, which I guess wasn't an official day-of-rage thing?)