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Security Roundup: Sparring between IDF and Terrorists Continue

Terrorists and the IDF continue outflanking one another, with numerous incidents and arrests unfolding over the past 24 hours. Anti-Moslem graffiti calling Muhammed a “pig” is back near Kalkilya.

By Alex Traiman
First Publish: 2/19/2006, 8:57 AM / Last Update: 2/17/2006, 1:12 PM

The graffiti was spotted Friday morning on a mosque in the Arab village of Nebi Elias, near Kalkilya. This is the second defacement of the mosque in ten days. Local Arabs erased Friday’s graffiti, although it was the IDF that took the initiative of cleaning the mosque after the first incident.

An IDF soldier was attacked Thursday evening at the Hura Junction, east of Beer Sheva. According to the soldier two Arabs exited their vehicle and sprayed the soldier in the face with tear gas before stealing his M-16 rifle.

The soldier was taken to Soroka Hospital and was treated for light chemical burns. The police have set up road blocks in the area searching for the assailants.

During the past week nearly a dozen Kassam rockets were fired from Arab-controlled Gaza into Southern Israel. While many have landed in sparsely populated areas of the Western Negev causing little damage, some rockets have landed dangerously close to Israeli homes and community buildings, as well as sensitive infrastructure.

The Rotenberg Power Plant, which supplies a quarter of Israel’s electricity, was threatened this week, when a Kassam landed in Ashkelon’s southern Industrial Zone. Ashkelon is one of Israel’s largest cities, situated along the southern Israeli coast, just a few miles from Gaza’s northern border.

In a moderate response to the rocket attacks, the IDF has resumed firing artillery shells toward Arab launching sites. The private aircraft company Boeing, and the Israeli Aircraft Industry have discussed combining resources to create an anti-Kassam rocket that can be fired against the incoming rockets.

Eighteen terrorists were arrested Thursday night in counter-terror operations. Ten arrests were made near Jenin, four near Ramallah, and four in Shechem (Nablus) where terrorists opened fire on IDF soldiers. No injuries were reported.

Wanted Arab terrorist Muhammed Fuad was detained in Kalkilya, after the IDF discovered 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of potassium in his home earlier this week. The IDF reports that such substances are used in making bombs.

A 50-year-old man is reported as being moderately wounded, after being shot in the knee in Or Yehuda. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated the man to the Sheba Medical Center.

A shooting incident between rival Arab families took place Thursday near the Jewish town of Maale Amos, in eastern Gush Etzion, south of Tekoa. An Arab was wounded by the gunfire.

In response to intelligence warnings of possible Arab rioting, Jerusalem police are banning men under the age of 45 from praying on the Temple Mount. In addition, only those with Israeli identity cards will be allowed to enter the Moslem compound currently atop Judaism’s holiest site. Women are not being banned from the Mount.

Police are also increasing their presence surrounding the Temple Mount, throughout the entire Old City, and in Arab populated East Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Israeli police are now enforcing a new policy forbidding Arabs who are not Israeli citizens from crossing into Israeli population centers at most crossings. The order now allows Arabs to enter only at 11 specified crossings throughout the country in attempt to further curb terrorist infiltrations.