Ten Years Since ´Black March´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gil Ronen 03/31/12)
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Ten years ago, the IDF carried out a large-scale operation in Judea
and Samaria, dubbed ´Defensive Shield,´ in response to ´Black March´ –
the month of March, 2002, in which Palestinian Authority terrorists
murdered 105 Israeli civilians and 26 IDF soldiers, mostly in suicide
bomber attacks against civilian targets such as restaurants and buses.
A terrorist attack against the Park Hotel in of Netanya that took the
lives of 30 Israeli civilians at their Passover Seder was the final
trigger for the IDF operation.
During the operation, IDF forces entered central PA cities including
Jenin, Shechem, Bethlehem, Kalkilya, Tul Karem and Ramallah, in order
to wipe out the terrorist infrastructure.
Reserve forces were drafted, along with infantry, armored, and combat
engineering forces, backed up by IAF aircraft. 29 IDF soldiers were
killed in combat, half of them reservists.
29 soldiers were killed in the battle for Jenin. The IDF command –
under Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer of Labor and Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon – sent the soldiers into the heavily
fortified "refugee" neighborhood on foot, so as to avoid Arab
casualties, instead of attacking the terror enclave from the air. A
group of soldiers walked into an ambush and 13 were killed.
The IDF Website writes that the soldiers "were forced to fight in a
tight urban setting within residential areas, as terror organizations
used civilians as human shields." Operation Defensive Shield began on
March 29, 2002, and ended on April 21, or May 10, depending on
whether one accepts the IDF Website´s version or that of the Foreign
The Israeli Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center reported that
the operation resulted in an initial drop of 46 percent in the number
of suicide bombings – from 22 in February and March to 12 in April
and May – and a 70 percent drop in executed attacks between the first
half of 2002 and the second half – from 43 in the period from January
to June, to 13 in the period from July to December.
While 2003 had a total of 25 executed suicide bombings in comparison
to 56 in 2002, and also saw a 35 percent drop in the number of
Israeli fatalities from suicide bombings, from 220 deaths in 2002 to
142 in 2003. The unprecedented terror onslaught of 2000-2005 is known
by the Arabs as the Second Intifada. In Israel, some call it "the
Oslo War," in a reference to the 1993 Oslo Accords that created the
Palestinian Authority, giving Arabs the arms and infrastructure to
launch such a murderous campaign from within Israel´s borders.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 03/31/12)
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