IDF Chief Warns and Reassures Arabs of Gaza

Arabs in Gaza have fired five more Kassams at Israel. Chief of Staff Halutz warns civilians not to help, yet says they have nothing to fear. Nearly 20 terrorists were arrested over night.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 10:37

Arab terrorists in Gaza fired at least five Kassam rockets at Israel since yesterday, hitting Sderot and the Kerem Shalom area. No one was hurt.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, visiting an IDF base near Gaza today, issued a slightly confusing warning to the Kassam launchers and their civilian neighbors. "We have no intention of dealing with those who fire Kassams via the Palestinian population," he said, adding, "The civilian population has to know that if they vomit out those who fire Kassams, they won't have to run away from the Israeli retaliation."

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, who visited together with Halutz, responded to one of the IDF officers who expressed a feeling of "helplessness" against the Kassam launchers. Mofaz said, "Frustration is not a work plan. You must have patience and nerves of steel."

Israeli security forces arrested close to 20 wanted terrorists and terror suspects throughout Judea and Samaria last night. These included Hamas members, and a man who became a PA hero for several days after he was photographed biting the hand of an Israeli Border Guard policeman during a demonstration. Two of the policeman's fingers were broken in the incident.

Late Tuesday morning, IDF forces are reported to be surrounding a house in Shechem in which a wanted terrorist is hiding.




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