Terrorists Attack Kfar Darom as Rice Praises PA

Arab terrorists unsuccessfully tried to attack Kfar Darom, hours before Condoleezza Rice praised PA anti-terror efforts. The IDF turned back the terrorists, who struck for the third time in a month.

, | updated: 01:48

A four-member terror gang launched the assault with gunfire on Israeli army positions next to Kfar Darom, in Gush Katif. Golani soldiers returned fire and killed an Islamic Jihad terrorist and injured another attacker, who was identified as a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a branch of Abu Mazen's Fatah party. Two other terrorists escaped unharmed. IDF soldiers recovered a rifle and ammunition.

Terrorists also shot at IDF soldiers near Gadid, in Gush Katif, and fired almost a dozen mortar shells at several towns. One soldier was lightly injured and several greenhouses were damaged. Last month, terrorists tried to attack Kfar Darom in a pre-dawn attack before Israeli soldiers repelled the attacks following an hour-long delay until superiors allowed them to shoot.

IDF Colonel Moti Kidor, commander of a battalion in Gaza, said that terrorists have "almost doubled" the number of attacks towards the planned August transfer of 9,000 Jewish residents from Gaza. He added, "Terror gangs attack because the PA stands on the side and does not prevent them." Kidor also revealed that soldiers in the past month prevented another assault on the town.

Saturday's attacks on Israel came almost simultaneously with praise for Abu Mazen by visiting American secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She called the successor to Yasser Arafat "a man of peace" and added that the PA is "making progress" in training Arab security forces. Rice then acknowledged, "More could be done."

Gush Katif also was the scene of a rare battle between Arabs and Jews, both sides charging the others with starting a fracas on the Mediterranean beach next to the hotel near Ne've Dekalim. According to all accounts, four Arabs were injured and one was shot in the leg. Anti-evacuation groups, including Women in Green, have been living in the hotel, which had been closed down following continued terrorist attacks.

Muwasi Arabs, who live adjacent to several Gush Katif communities, and residents of the hotel were on the beach when a stone-throwing battle broke out. Each side said the other started the fight, but several Israeli politicians immediately demanded that the government evict the hotel residents from Gush Katif.

After the incidents, Arab terrorists fired a series of mortal shells and Kassam rockets on Gush Katif and in the western Negev, including three in Sderot where one rocket struck a sidewalk outside a house. A rocket also fell next to Ashkelon, the site of a huge power plant that supplies electricity to the entire region.




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