Daily Israel Report

Five Kassams Fired at Sderot Today; IDF Retaliates

The IDF has confirmed that two helicopter gunships fired several air-to-surface missiles late this afternoon after terrorists were spotted deploying Kassam rocket launchers in Khan Yunis. Two people are reported killed and over ten were wounded.
First Publish: 6/25/2003, 10:41 AM

Five Kassams Fired at Sderot Today; IDF Retaliates
The IDF has confirmed that two helicopter gunships fired several air-to-surface missiles late this afternoon after terrorists were spotted deploying Kassam rocket launchers in Khan Yunis. Two people are reported killed and over ten were wounded.

After a Kassam rocket hit the Negev city of Sderot this morning, causing damage to a parked car, four more rockets hit open areas in the town this afternoon.

One of the five mortar shells fired at Gush Katif last night scored a direct hit on a store in N'vei Dekalim. The storeowner discovered the damage when he arrived this morning, but the concrete ceiling absorbed much of the hit and prevented greater damage. This morning, Arabs fired at an IDF vehicle at Netzarim, and two terrorists who placed a bomb near Nachal Oz alongside the Gaza fence were shot and wounded. Four mortar shells hit Gush Katif this afternoon, causing no damage. A bus was shot in the northern Shomron this afternoon; no one was hurt.

The main terrorism story of the morning, however, was the pursuit of two terrorists who were on their way to the Petach Tikvah area to perpetrate an attack. Checkpoints were erected in the Sharon region near Rosh Ha'Ayin, causing heavy traffic jams. Israeli intelligence provided a very accurate physical description of one of the terrorists, and the forces closed in on the area in the Israeli-Arab town of Kfar Kassem. It was not long before they found the two terrorists, members of Fatah - although a third one escaped.

IDF sappers carefully detonated the bomb, which was found hidden in a backpack nearby, and the tremendous explosion was reportedly heard "far and wide." The bomb, with over ten kilograms of explosives, caused a large pit in an asphalt street, and "would have caused many casualties had it exploded in a bus, an open market, or a mall," according to police sources.

The General Security Service (Shabak) said it had 58 specific warnings today of possible terror attacks in Israel, including Yesha.

Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured this morning in a firefight with Arab terrorists in Gaza. The incident occurred near Palestinian Authority-controlled Beit Hanoun, and two terrorists were killed in the incident.

The name of the 17th victim of the Jerusalem bus bombing of two weeks ago was released today: Heila Abraha Hawaki, 56, a foreign worker from Eritrea, an African country bordering Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Red Sea.