Friday, July 15, 2005

IDF Retaliation: Weapons Storehouse and Office Bombed

By Hillel Fendel

Following Thursday's massive and fatal shelling attack against Israel, the IDF bombed Hamas buildings, some of them empty, and blockaded Gaza roads. The terrorists fired more Kassams later.

The IDF missile strikes hit four buildings in Khan Yunis, adjacent to Gush Katif, Dir el-Balah in central Gaza, and Jabalya, near northern Gaza. Most of the buildings were said to be weapons storehouses.

No Fatah targets were hit, despite the fact that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, associated with the Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah party, claimed responsibility for yesterday's massive attacks against Israel. Hamas also claimed responsibility.

This was the first time the IDF has mounted a major operation in Gaza since the Sharm el-Sheikh accords in February.

In addition, IDF divided Gaza into three areas, preventing terrorists and other Arabs from traveling from one to the other. This measure has frequently been implemented following terrorist attacks, and is usually removed within a few days. However, it has not been taken for several months, because of the difficulties it placed on the "civilian Palestinian population," the army claimed. Today, as well, the army declared that it would allow travel when necessary for humanitarian purposes.

The IDF retaliation followed yesterday's massive rocket and mortar shell attacks. One woman was killed.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) is currently visiting in Gaza. A battle between PA security forces and Hamas terrorists last night resulted in the injuring of at least two PA policemen. The PA has put its forces on high alert.

The number of shelling attacks against Israel during this 'tahadiye' period - a period of "calm" self-declared by the terrorists, slightly less peaceful than a 'hudna' (temporary ceasefire) - has risen to almost 100 a week. An Army Radio commentator [who is about to join the ranks of the unemployed] stated that Prime Minister Sharon's declaration that "there will be no disengagement under fire" has been rendered ridiculous.

More signs of anarchy in the PA-controlled areas were seen in Shechem last night. Hamas terrorists raided a PA police station in the Shomron city, demanding the release of one of its members held in custody there. The terrorist was in fact released.

The IDF sent dozens of armored vehicles and many forces to northern Gaza this morning, as part of the army's "preparation for a quick entry for an offensive in case of escalation," one army source said.


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