Several busloads of people arrived at the holy site in Shechem (Nablus) late last night, under the supervision of the IDF. The explosion occurred as one group was leaving and another was entering, around 1 AM this morning.



Contrary to popular perception, Palestinian terrorism in Judea and Samaria continues apace. Earlier last night, Palestinian terrorists opened fire at an IDF unit near the Balata slum section of Shechem. In addition, terrorists threw an explosive device at an IDF unit nearby. No one was hurt in these incidents.



Slightly to the north, in Jenin, Israeli forces arrested four Islamic Jihad members of the Saadi family, well known for its terrorist connections. This week, a Kassam rocket factory was found in Jenin; a Jenin terrorist arrested several weeks ago said that the plan was to fire them at Afula and environs, in pre-'67 Israel.



The northern Shomron area, if Israel in fact withdraws its forces and residents, is liable to become a "second Gaza," security sources warn. Jenin and Shechem will become cities of refuge for terrorists, and Kassam rockets could be fired at Israeli towns and cities bordering the area. Hizbullah has built a foundation of terrorism in this area over the past few months, mainly with the Islamic Jihad, but has not scored much "success" due to the IDF activities in the area. With the departure of the IDF, Hizbullah and the Islamic Jihad are expected to increase their terror activities.



Terrorist activity is currently dammed by IDF measures such as isolating villages, encircling areas, checkpoints, and nonstop local activity by the army and GSS. A senior officer said, "It's no coincidence that though there are explosives, labs, lathes and the know-how – there have not been Kassams in the Shomron. Our control doesn't allow the translation of these resources into rockets. But when Israel leaves, the situation will change, and it will just be a matter of time until the first Kassam. The Beit She'an and Gilboa communities will come into rocket range." The municipal leaders in these areas have already been warned.



The withdrawal is also expected to endanger Israel's water supply from the area. PA elements currently dig illegally, and are expected to intensify this activity once Israel leaves – depleting and salinating the water supply used for agriculture in the Gilboa region and possibly wiping out regional farming.