Daily Israel Report

Hudna: Palestinian Violence, Israeli Concessions

Quietly but persistently, the Oslo War continues - despite the declared hudna ceasefire and Israel's accompanying concessions. Today's violence included Palestinian terrorists opening fire at an IDF outpost in the northern Shomron.
First Publish: 7/17/2003, 10:37 AM

Quietly but persistently, the Oslo War continues - despite the declared hudna ceasefire and Israel's accompanying concessions. Palestinian terrorists opened fire at an IDF outpost in the northern Shomron this afternoon; no one was hurt, and IDF soldiers returned fire. A Palestinian-launched mortar shell exploded last night near Gadid in Gush Katif, and Arabs attacked an IDF outpost - twice - in the same region. In the Shomron last night, Arabs threw rocks at cars near Azoun and Peduel, causing damage but no casualties.

Palestinian terrorists have murdered three people in the 19 days since the hudna was announced, amidst dozens of attacks. In Gaza during the past week, 13 grenades were hurled at IDF forces, armed gunmen shot at soldiers in seven instances, several terrorists attempted to infiltrate Jewish areas, and at least one explosive device was discovered. Similar numbers of attacks were recorded in Yesha.

The declaration of the hudna has led to Israel's decision to release 350 Arab security prisoners, the opening of roads in Gaza to unchecked Arab traffic, and the withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza and around Bethlehem. In addition, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to inform PA leader Mahmoud Abbas at their meeting next week that Israel is now ready to release "administrative prisoners" belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad who do not have "blood on their hands" - contrary to a previous Cabinet decision.

The PA has also requested that Israel agree to allow the terrorists who barricaded themselves in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to return from Gaza and from Europe. Israel has agreed to consider the request, implying that those in Gaza would be allowed to return to their homes in Judea and Samaria. Education Minister Limor Livnat said that these decisions should be made by the entire Cabinet, but added, "I admit that it will be hard to convince me why we should make gestures to the Palestinian Authority at this time, especially [so soon] after the abduction of Eli Gur-El."

A terror warning alert has been declared in the Kalkilye-Kfar Saba area. IDF soldiers arrested seven PA residents last night on suspicion of terrorist activities.

Hizbullah joined in the fray again today, firing anti-aircraft fire towards the western Galilee over Israel's northern border. Shrapnel fell in Israel, and some damage was reported. In a similar attack yesterday, the home of the security chief in a northern border community was damaged in a fire set by a barrage of Hizbullah anti-aircraft fire.