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Gaza About to Explode?

Large IDF forces are concentrated just outside northern Gaza, waiting for the order to attack the Kassam rocket infrastructures in Beit Hanoun.

First Publish: 8/25/2003, 11:04 AM

The army attributes no importance to PA General Al-Majaida's announcement last night to the effect that Arafat ordered him to put a stop to the Kassam rocket firings against Jewish communities in the Negev and Gaza.

Hamas and other terrorist organizations are saying that they will avenge the deaths of the four terrorists Israel killed last night in Gaza. Only a few hours after IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon said that all Hamas terrorists were potential targets, Israel Air Force helicopters let loose several rockets on the car of Hamas "Operations Chief" Rashdi Shidawi. All four occupants of the car were killed, including two "ticking time bombs" on their way to carry out attacks against Israelis.

Predictably, Palestinian terrorists fired at least 12 mortar shells at various Israeli communities in Gaza, from Netzarim in central Gaza to Rafiach Yam in the south. No one was hurt, but damage was caused to buildings, greenhouses, and roads. In addition, for the first time, an IDF outpost in Gush Katif was fired upon from the sea. Terrorists opened fire at Tel Katifa from a boat in the sea; no one was hurt, and IDF soldiers returned fire.

Former IDF Southern Commander Gen. Yom Tov Samiyah said today that the current middle-of-the-road policy is misguided. He said that we must either accept the terrorists' ceasefire in toto, or "we should talk for four days about how bad Arafat is and how he is sabotaging all peace efforts, and then drop a half-ton bomb on the Mukata and wipe it out. We'll have 40 days of chaos and mourning and mayhem, but afterwards we'll wake up to a new day and believe me, the Palestinians will be the first ones to thank us and the Egyptians will be next."

A Jewish shepherd was attacked by Arabs near the Hevron Hills community of Sussia this afternoon. He did not require medical attention. Army soldiers are searching the area for the attackers. In Asira A-Shamiliye, near Shechem, Arabs opened fire at an IDF force; no one was hurt.