Daily Israel Report

Five IDF Battalions Called Up, In Light of Terror Warnings

Five IDF battalions of reserves were called up today, in light of the increasing terrorism warnings. Eight Kassam rockets and shells were fired at Sderot and environs in the Negev today; no one was hurt.

First Publish: 10/19/2003, 9:21 AM

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz made the decision before the Sukkot holiday, and today the army implemented it: Five battalions of reserve soldiers were called up on short notice, in light of increasing terrorism warnings. On Friday, for instance, the defense network received 46 warnings of possible terror attacks. The number today was "down" to 41.

The decision to effect the call-up was made after the Maxim Restaurant massacre of two weeks ago, when over 20 people were murdered by a woman terrorist who managed to be driven or walk undetected across the Green Line. Four of the battalions will serve for three weeks in Judea and Samaria - in the Jordan Valley and along the Green Line - and one in Gaza.

Eight Kassam rockets and shells were fired at the city of Sderot and environs in the Negev late this morning; no one was hurt.

Eleven mortar shells were fired at Gush Katif over the weekend, including two today; no one was hurt. One of them was fired at the scene of Jewish festivities in N'vei Dekalim last night, but missed its target. A total of well over 60 shells have been fired at the Jewish communities in southern Gaza since Rosh HaShanah... IDF forces, continuing their ongoing anti-terror activities, killed a leading Hamas terrorist in Gaza yesterday. Thousands of people reportedly attended his funeral... Army forces uncovered and destroyed an explosives lab and a supply of chemical materials used to manufacture explosives in Shechem...

An Israeli-Arab was lightly wounded last night when his car was shot at by Fatah terrorists in the northern Shomron. The would-be murderers apparently mistook the car for a Jewish-owned vehicle, because of its yellow license plate identifying it as Israeli. Arab residents of the PA have white plates.

The IDF denies that the offensive to find and destroy arms-smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza has ended. Army sources say that the operation will continue for as long as necessary. Approximately ten tunnels are still suspected of serving as a conduit for arms, contraband, and even terrorists from Egypt into Gaza.

Three Arabs were caught today and confessed to having harvested Jewish-owned olive trees and stealing three sacks worth of olives. The three were arrested and then released on bail, and the olives were returned to their owners.