Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


Residents Praise Army, Accuse Police and GSS

A major terrorist attack in mid-Kfar Darom was prevented yesterday afternoon. Another incident in which Arabs were hurt was called a "police provocation" leading to an early expulsion of local Jews.
First Publish: 6/19/2005, 10:21 AM / Last Update: 6/19/2005, 1:08 PM

At around 1 PM, IDF soldiers detected several terrorists in the greenhouses area of Kfar Darom, a Jewish community of close to 70 families in northern Gush Katif. The terrorists began shooting, IDF soldiers returned fire, and the terrorists were thought to have escaped.

Upon investigation, it was found that the terrorists were a group of four who had brought many weapons and were planning a major attack inside Kfar Darom. One of the terrorists was killed, another was wounded, and two others escaped. "Once again, alert army soldiers have prevented a major terror attack," wrote the Katif.net site.

Shortly afterwards, at 6 PM yesterday, armed Arab gunmen fired at an IDF outpost near Gadid, adjacent to Gush Katif "capital" N'vei Dekalim. One soldier was lightly wounded and was treated on the spot.

Around the same time, four Arabs walking in an Israeli-controlled area were hurt - including one with a bullet wound in his foot - in a violent clash with Israelis living in the newly revamped Palm Beach Hotel. Several left-wing politicians immediately demanded that the government evict the hotel residents from Gush Katif.

Resident Aryeh Yitzchaki said that the incident was "clearly a provocation engineered by the Shabak and the police. I knew already on Friday that something like this would happen, because on that day I read an interview in the Makor Rishon [weekly newspaper] with Yitzchak Fantik, the former chief of the Jewish Section of the GSS, and he said he can't understand why the police don't simply come to the hotel and throw them all out."

He was referring to the dozens of new residents, including families with children as well as unmarried men in their teens and 20's, who have come to live in the all-but-abandoned Palm Beach Hotel over the past few weeks and months.

"As soon as I read that," Yitzchaki told Arutz-7 today, "I knew they were planning some sort of provocation against the Jews in the hotel - and it happened."

Yitzchaki said that within minutes after the violence incident on the beach, "mortar shells were fired at Jewish communities. There was barely any time to inform anyone of what happened - this shows that the whole thing was prepared in advance."

Fantik told Makor Rishon, "The police should bring in a battalion at night and send them flying them out of there. Arrive, arrest and finish. Delays don't solve anything. Negotiating with them merely strengthens them." Asked how to go about the evacuation in general, he said, "We checked this out 20 years ago. Bring in two divisions, and evacuate everything in one night. That's the principle..."

Asked about road-blockings, he said, "Road-blockings have to be dealt with by the GSS in cooperation with the police and Attorney General. You have to understand: glue in locks [of government buildings], blocking roads - it's nice, but it's liable to have a price. You can't know where it will deteriorate to. These things have their own dynamics, and the dynamics of terrorism are such that when something is not attained with conventional means, they go to more extreme means. That's how it was with Bin-Laden. He blew up a boat, then the World Trade Center and the Pentagon... And whoever is insulted about being compared to Bin-Laden, let him be insulted. That's how it works. The danger is from an entire public sector that will revolt against the state and doesn't accept government decisions."

Col. Moti Kidor, commander of an IDF battalion in Gaza, said that terrorists have "almost doubled" the number of attacks on Jews in the area of late. "Terror gangs attack because the PA stands on the side and does not prevent them," Kidor said.

Almost at the same time as yesterday's violence, visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called PA Chairman Abbas a "man of peace." She said that the PA is "making progress" in training security forces, but acknowledged, "More could be done."

On Friday night, a mortar shell was fired at a Gush Katif moshav, landing in the greenhouses area and causing no damage. Around the same time, a Kassam rocket was fired at Sderot in the Negev, with no after-effects.