Daily Israel Report

P.A. Sniper Murders Ten

The attack in Wadi Haramiya this morning, at the Israeli checkpoint in an old British police station, began when a terrorist sniper, apparently acting alone, shot from a mountainside above at the checkpoint. He fired for 40 minutes at soldiers and at civilian cars that were passing by.
First Publish: 3/3/2002, 6:32 PM

The attack in Wadi Haramiya this morning, at the Israeli checkpoint in an old British police station, began when a terrorist sniper, apparently acting alone, shot from a mountainside above at the checkpoint. (Arab sources claim that there were three snipers.) He fired for 40 minutes at soldiers and at civilian cars that were passing by. Rescue forces that came to the scene were also fired upon and hit; among these were Avigdor Shatz, the regional security officer, who is now listed in moderate-to-serious and stable condition. Over ten others were also wounded, and all were evacuated to Jerusalem hospitals. Finally, a bullet shot by a force of standing-army soldiers hit the terrorist\'s gun, which he left there and escaped. 25 bullet casings were found at his post, indicating that he took his time and carefully aimed his fatal shots.

IMRA notes that as part of the Oslo program, the CIA and Israel trained Palestinian snipers. Soldiers at the Haramiya Checkpoint have caught many terrorists in the past.

Eric Wiseberg, who has been driving special-education children from the Shilo-Maaleh Levonah area to Jerusalem for 15 years, told Arutz-7 that when he reached the checkpoint, he saw a civilian and then a soldier taking cover. \"Someone [else] waved me to hide under my car,\" he said, \"and then I heard the volleys of [IDF] automatic gunfire around us. According to my training, I just put my foot down on the gas pedal and got out of there as quickly as possible. When children are with us, we try to forget what fear is on the roads!\" In his spare time, Wiseberg arranges personal pilot trips to Yesha for potential new immigrants on a program called Aliya B\'Simcha.

The names of five of the victims have been cleared for publication:
Capt. Ariel Hovav, 25, of Eli
Wt. Officer (res.) Rafael Levy, 42, of Rishon LeTzion
Wt. Officer Yochai Porat, 26, of Kfar Sava
Wt. Officer Avraham Ezra, 38, of Kiryat Bialik
Lt. (res.) David Demlin of Meitzad.

A terrorist cell penetrated a Jewish area east of Gaza this morning, and soldiers took off in pursuit. Unconfirmed reports speak of one terrorist shot and killed. A state of high alert was declared this morning throughout the Eshkol area, and schools and roads were closed.