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Mixed Messages: Terror and Talk Escalate

Israel Wednesday advanced plans for turning over another Arab city to the PA, despite escalating terror and Defense Minister Mofaz' fears that the PA is incapable of controlling terror.
First Publish: 4/28/2005, 11:57 AM / Last Update: 4/27/2005, 11:23 PM

Five rockets and mortar shells struck Gush Katif while tens of thousands of supporters converged on the 21 Jewish communities in Gaza in protest of the government's Disengagement Plan. An additional mortar shell exploded in Gush Katif Wednesday night. There were no injuries or damage.

In Samaria, Arab terrorists shot at an Israeli vehicle on the main road from Kalkilya to the communities of Ginot Shomron, Karnei Shomron and Kedumim. As the IDF closed the road to search for the attackers, military officials were talking with Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces about turning over security around Kalkilya to the PA. Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, who has been overseeing the Israeli withdrawal from Arab cities, said Wednesday evening that there "is growing doubt" that the PA is capable of overcoming terror.

Defense Minister Mofaz and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have said that Israel will not make any more concessions to the PA until it curtails terrors. PA chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) reiterated that he will take action against terrorists.

Israel already has turned over Jericho and Tulkarm to the PA, but Israelis security forces this month arrested a large number of terrorists who have been left untouched by PA security forces.

Terrorists continued to have the last word Wednesday as they fired at soldiers in Gaza and in Samaria, damaging one army vehicle. IDF soldiers stopped two 13-year-olds near Jenin and discovered they were carrying two rifles and pipe bombs, apparently intended to be detonated at the nearby IDF checkpoint. Investigation revealed that the two Arab youths had routinely been smuggling weapons past the checkpoint.