A Nation on High Alert

With 80 terror warnings, including 15 specific ones, the police are on near-highest alert - and top alert in Jerusalem. With gay parade scheduled for tom'w, Police Chief says, We can't do it all.

Hillel Fendel and Yechiel Spira, | updated: 07:02

Hamas and Fatah officials continue to warn that they will avenge the deaths of 19 Arabs in Beit Hanoun on Wednesday with active terrorist attacks. The police are on near-highest alert today around the country, and will move to highest alear tomorrow, Friday.

An IDF investigation, headed by Maj.-Gen. Meir Kalifi, the Deputy Commander of the Ground Forces, into the explosion that brought down part of a building complex in northern Gaza and killed 19 people, is currently underway. In the course of stopping Kassam rocket launchers from the area, the IDF fired 12 artillery shells to the area. The investigation will attempt to find out whether one of the two as yet unaccounted-for shells accidentally hit the building.

As in past incidents of this nature, the Arab side has already made up its mind that Israel is guilty, and promises retaliation.

Three months ago, 57 Lebanese Arabs were reported dead in an Israeli air-strike - but evidence later showed that Israel had nothing to do with it: The building had been used to store explosives, was apparently not destroyed by the bombing, and sheltered dozens of women and children throughout a night of bombing, who were evacuated only in the morning. The identity of the victims was left vague, except that it was known that they were not the original occupants of the building. In addition, Human Rights Watch later reported that 28 people were killed, and not 57.

Security along the Green Line "border" between Judea/Samaria and the rest of Israel has been tightened, and counter-terror efforts throughout the country have been increased, with the goal of preventing a major terror attack.

The Palestinian Authority has called on the United Nations Security Council to take stern actions against Israel, despite expressions of regret from Israeli officials. Foreign Minister Tzippy Livny said that Israel never targets citizens, but that in warfare, with Israel forced to respond to ongoing rocket attacks on its population, accidents do happen.

Both PA prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and PA Chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) of Fatah blamed the "Israeli massacre" for the breakdown in coalition talks between the two groups.

Two more Kassam rockets were fired at the western Negev this morning, causing some damage. The IDF spokesperson's office reported to foreign journalists that at least 13 Kassams were launced at Israel on Wednesday.

The police capabilities are also stretched because of the planned homosexual parade tomorrow and the accompanying protests - feared to be violent in some areas - by possibly hundreds of thousands of people. Police Chief Moshe Karadi is holding consultations on the matter today, and a decision is expected by early afternoon as to whether the march will be held tomorrow - or possibly next Friday instead.

In the capital, tensions are running high following a week of violent protests against the parade. Close to 3,500 buses are scheduled to bring protestors to the city to take part in rallies against the march. The gays are scheduled to march four hours, beginning at 11 AM.

The Supreme Court is also to deliver a decision today on whether to allow the parade, and is expected to throw out the petitions against it.




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