An IDF jeep driving near Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled Shechem (Nablus) drove over an explosive device, resulting in an officer sustaining light injuries Monday night. The jeep was completely burned.
Throughout Judea and Samaria, IDF troops arrested 20 wanted terrorists during the night, as well.
In the Balata slums of Shechem, terrorists opened fire at soldiers. There were no injuries and soldiers returned fire.
Gunfire was reported by an Israeli motorist near the Jewish town of Kiryat Arba. The driver reported shots fired in his direction at the Okfim Junction to the IDF, which arrived at the scene and launched a search for the shooter.
Following the government-ordered opening of the Erez crossing to enable Israeli Arabs to visit relatives in Gaza, the bag of an Israeli Arab citizen exploded as he was crossing from Gaza into mainland Israel. No injury or damage was reported in the incident, which was the result of American pressure to open the Gaza crossings despite promises to Israeli citizens that the Disengagement would mean separation from Gaza's hostile Arab population.
In other Israeli Arab terror-involvement news, the Supreme Court has handed down stiffer sentences than usual to two Israeli Arabs convicted of smuggling weapons into the country. The court accepted the prosecution’s petition to overturn a lower court’s decision to impose six-year jail terms on the smugglers and raised the jail term to ten years.
Despite the growing terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria and the discovery of Kassam rocket workshops in northern Samaria, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he does not know of “significant efforts to manufacture missiles in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].” Sharon said that terrorists had attempted to smuggle three “weapons experts from Gaza to [Judea and Samaria], but they were caught near Mitzpe Ramon,” in the Negev.
Sharon also defended the Egyptian handling of the border between Gaza and Egypt, which was left open for over a week following the Gaza withdrawal. Sharon said, in defense of the Egyptian forces, that the Egyptians had just recently fired on a group of smugglers in the area of the Philadelphi Route.
The Palestinian Authority security forces, many of whom either moonlight as members of various terror organizations or were hired directly from their ranks as part of negotiations between the groups and the ruling Fatah militia, will be receiving new ammunition over the next few days, including rifle bullets – paid for by the United States and delivered from Egypt with the approval of PM Sharon's cabinet.
Last week, the cabinet also approved the deployment of European Union (EU) personnel to oversee the border between Gaza and Egypt at Rafiach.
And just in case the lack of PA confrontation with terror groups operating in Gaza has been due to lack of snipers, the European Union has announced the launching of a three-year program to train the Palestinian Authority's quasi-army, saying that the PA needs a "credible police force."