Daily Israel Report

IDF Destroys Gaza Weapons Facility

The IDF continues counter-terror activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza with increasing reports of multiplying terror gangs in Gaza and increased Al-Qaeda involvement in the Palestinian Authority.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 10/9/2006, 9:20 AM / Last Update: 10/9/2006, 11:11 AM

The Air Force demolished a building in Gaza used for weapons storage overnight. The weapons were located in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza. A warning was issued in advance to allow civilians to clear the area.

“The IDF will continue to act with determination against terrorist organizations and terror infrastructure in order to create the conditions for the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terror attacks and the launching of missiles towards Israel,” an IDF statement following the strike read.

The IDF did not specify to which terrorist organization the weapons belonged. The Olmert government itself has facilitated the arming of PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas’s militia. Olmert allowed the transfer of hundreds of hundreds of rifles from Jordan and Egypt to Abbas’s Force 17 earlier this year, following Hamas’s election victory.

IDF soldiers operating in Gaza Sunday night were targeted with mortar shells. No injuries were reported.

Gaza Terror Groups Multiply

Latest intelligence assessments number at least sixteen separate terrorist groups operating in the Gaza region.

Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida claimed Sunday that the ruling group has a force of more than 10,000 fighters. Israeli sources put the number at about 7,500.

Al Qaeda claimed Sunday that it was responsible for setting off a bomb at a coffee house in the Gaza region Saturday night. No injuries were reported, but the building sustained heavy damage. The group claimed it acted against corruption in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and against “immoral activities” in the Arab community. Three weeks ago, the terrorist network headed by Osama Bin Laden took responsibility for the murder of a senior PA intelligence officer and his four bodyguards.

Attacks in Judea and Samaria
Two firebombs were hurled at an Israeli motorist traveling on the Alon Road in Samaria, Sunday night. The Molotov Cocktails were hurled at the vehicle near the Arab village of Dir Abu-Meshal Sunday night. No injuries were reported, but the vehicle was damaged.

Elsewhere in Samaria, Arab terrorists shot at three Israeli vehicles, failing to murder or injure the intended targets. At least nine bullet casings were found in the area of the attacks.

Buses were also targeted, by Arabs throwing rocks near Hevron. An Arab man with an M-16 assault rifle and hundreds of bullets was caught trying to pass through the Hawara Checkpoint outside Shechem.

Smuggling Attempt Thwarted
IDF soldiers Sunday night wounded three Egyptians who were trying to smuggle drugs into Israel. The smuggling operation employed tactics similar to those used by terrorists, according to an IDF spokeswoman, who pointed out the link between criminal activity and terrorists.

The wounded smugglers are being treated at an Israeli hospital in Eilat. Egypt has claimed its security forces are closing in on arms smugglers, who have been smuggling a large supply of new weapons into the Gaza area, according to Israeli intelligence officials. Egyptian sources said they arrested an arms dealer with 64 anti-tank mines several days ago, according to Mideast Newsline.

Olive Harvest Administrative Orders
The IDF has issued administrative orders prohibiting five residents of Judea and Samaria from leaving their communities during the olive harvest season, which is about to get underway.

In addition, the army has instructed community security officers not to involve themselves with Arab farmers who approach or even reach the borders of Jewish communities during the harvest.

In the past, the olive harvest season has witnessed skirmishes between Jews and Arabs, with security officials aware that in some cases, the Arab 'farmers' use the opportunity to gather intelligence on Jewish communities.

The IDF claims international and Israeli leftist activists will also be prevented from inflaming the situation.