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      Massive Mortar Attack In Gush Katif

      First Publish: 1/5/2004, 3:35 PM / Last Update: 1/5/2004, 5:35 PM

      "It's raining mortar shells!" This was the feeling of inhabitants in Gush Katif yesterday, last night and this morning, after close to 25 mortar shells bombarded the area. One house was damaged when a shell hit its roof, and damage was also caused to a nursery school room, but miraculously no one was hurt. The local message board, Katif.net, which continually reported on the latest landings, emphasized its disbelief at the fact that the army did not retaliate. The latest Palestinian Arab attack - three mortar shells in the vicinity of Morag, in southern Gush Katif - occurred around 9 AM this morning. There, too, no one was hurt.

      The Jews of Gush Katif, in Israel's southern Mediterranean coast area, have counted some 3,779 mortar shells fired at their homes, businesses and schools during the course of the 40-month Oslo War.

      Israeli forces discovered two underground tunnels in southern Gaza - one of which was out of service, but the other of which was planned to cause major casualties to Israelis. Running under a road near just east of Rafiach, it was filled with explosives and was apparently planned to be blown up when an Israeli tank would drive atop it.

      In other acts of Palestinian warfare today, gunmen opened fire on IDF soldiers north of Ramallah; the soldiers returned fire... Arab attackers fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF force operating along the Egypt-Israel border. There were no injuries in either attack... Palestinian gunmen fired at an IDF base in Gush Katif, causing damage to a number of buildings; IDF forces returned fire... Seven Border Guard officers were lightly hurt this afternoon during a riot by local Arabs near the Har Gilo area, south of Jerusalem... Border Guardsmen and Jerusalem police raided a house in Abu Dis, east of the capital, and captured an Arab from Azaria responsible for dozens of rock- and firebomb-throwing attacks against Israeli vehicles. The attacks, one of which lightly injured an Israeli driver, took place on the road connecting Jerusalem to Maaleh Adumim, an eastern suburb.