Israel: May 8, 2002


: While the Israeli operation in the West Bank and Gaza has devastated the terrorist infrastructure (wiping out bomb factories, suicide bomber training schools, and terrorist command cells), and has badly battered the unofficial Palestinian Army which the Palestinian Authority created by ignoring the Oslo Accord limits on its "armed police", it has also destroyed the ordinary Palestinian police who direct traffic and deal with criminals. (This is not to mention the economic damage done and the feeling of hopelessness, frustration, and rage created among the Palestinians.) The Palestinians fear that the destruction of security units unrelated to terrorism means that the Israelis are launching a defacto re-occupation of
the territories. The Israelis insist that all of the Palestinian security units were involved in terrorism in one form or another (or could have been used as a stockpile of weapons by more aggressive units).--Stephen V Cole

After destroying a Merkava 3 main battle tank in February and a second in March with Command Detonated Mines, the Palestinians continue to try to duplicate their earlier successes. Unfortunately, this has made Israeli tank crews hyper-alert and led to a tragedy.

On 5 May, an unspecified tank threw a track east of Jenin, near the Bezek position in northern Samaria. The accident lightly wounded one crewman and was mistaken for a CDM blast.

After the track snapped, IDF soldiers spotted several persons fleeing through a nearby grove, so the tank crew and other soldiers in an Armored Personnel Carrier opened fire with automatic weapons. The 32 year old Palestinian woman from the town of Qabatyah and her two children (ages 3 and 4) were shot in the heads or upper bodies.

It was later discovered there had been no mine and that Mohammed Zakarneh, his wife Fatma and their children had only been picking grape leaves for cooking, heard the blast and was simply trying to get out of the area. Zakarneh said he saw the tank's machine gun swivel toward them and fire. The IDF expressed "deep sorrow" over the incident and expressed regret over the loss of civilian life.

In the early hours of 7 April, IDF reservists shot two Palestinian terrorists in the hothouse area of Morag in the Gaza Strip. With first light, soldiers conducting a search of the area discovered the two terrorist's bodies and their bomb. Police sappers were then summoned to defuse an 80-kilogram bomb placed inside a barrel on a cart. Israeli security officials thought that the terrorists had planned to detonate the bomb under an IDF tank deployed nearby. - Adam Geibel

The Israeli government has decided to retaliate against the Palestinians for yesterday's terrorist attack by Hamas. Most likely this would mean going after the Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has responded to reports that soldiers looted during the recent operations in Palestinian territory. Six soldiers have been arrested so far.

A second suicide bomber attack was foiled when the bomb went off prematurely. The bomber survived and was arrested. 




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