Daily Israel Report

Terrorism Under The Hudna

Hudna or no, Palestinian terrorism continues.
First Publish: 7/1/2003, 11:50 AM

Hudna or no, Palestinian terrorism continues. A terrorist armed with a pistol jumped out of a taxi this morning, and opened fire at IDF soldiers at a checkpoint near Tul Karem ten miles east of Netanya. The Israelis returned fire and killed him; no one else was hurt.

In Gaza, there were at least three incidents of Palestinian violence against Israelis: Arabs opened fire at two IDF outposts, and attacked an army patrol. In all three cases, no one was hurt and IDF soldiers returned fire. Israel has not made any arrests of terrorists since withdrawing from northern Gaza yesterday, although it has intelligence information that three wanted terrorists traveled from north to south on the Gaza highway within hours of its re-opening to Arab traffic yesterday.

Defense elements say that additional wanted terrorists are expected to use the highway when they see that IDF forces do not stop them, and that they will use the route to smuggle arms and weapons.

At least two soldiers who served yesterday morning at the Gush Katif junction after control was handed over to the PA recounted that almost every Arab car that passed by had a Kalachnikov rifle - which were gleefully pointed at the Israeli soldiers. The IDF orders, of course, were not to respond.

Instead of close to 60 daily intelligence warnings of possible terrorist attacks, as was the case before the hudna was announced, defense sources say that there are now "only" about 50.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said today that if Israel sees that the Palestinians are treating the current diplomatic process only as a timeout from terror, "I assume that we will have to take action on our own. If they take it seriously, and fulfill their security responsibilities, together with our ongoing efforts - then these two elements could lead to an increase in security. I will not conceal from you that I have doubts as to whether this can work..." Speaking to the students of the pre-military yeshiva in Nokdim, east of Gush Etzion, Mofaz said that the current diplomatic process could "take years, not months."