IDF Intelligence Head: Any PA Cooperation Merely a Ploy (INN-ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) 02/01/05)
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Any lull in terror attacks is merely a tactic employed by the PA. So
said the head of IDF Military Intelligence Corps to a Knesset
committee today. In the meanwhile, mortar shelling continues.
Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze´evi-Farkash told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee that the relative drop in terrorism could be
expected to continue only until after mext week´s meeting between
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and PA chairman Abu Mazen next week.
Terror groups in the PA were asked to halt attacks, he said, with
the promise that Abu Mazen would use such a lull to extract further
concessions from the Israeli side.
It seems that even one more week is too long for terror groups to go
without attacking Jewish towns, however. Arutz-7´s Kobi Finkler
reports that 10 mortar shells and Kassam rockets were fired at
Jewish communities in Gush Katif last night. One shell slammed into
the kitchen of a N’vei Dekalim home.
The house’s owner told Israel Radio that she hoped people wound not
continue to be fooled by the “trickery” of the PA police,
who "rather than fight terror, take an active role in it." Over
2,000 armed PA Arabs have been deployed in the area surrounding Gush
Katif, ostensibly to prevent the firing of rockets and mortars.
Today, two mortar shells landed in the Gush Katif communities of
Gadid and Gan-Or, causing two people to go into shock and damaging
Despite the attacks, the Rafiah border crossing in southern Gaza was
opened today to enable PA Arabs traveling through Egypt to return
from their Mecca pilgrimage. It had been closed since December 12
following a terror attack there.
New rules of engagement for soldiers serving in Gaza have also been
issued in honor of the supposed cease-fire. The new orders stipulate
that merely hearing gunfire and then seeing an armed gunman is no
longer sufficient grounds for opening fire – but a soldier may only
return fire if he is actually being shot at. Additionally, soldiers
must get approval from several levels of command to open fire and
are no longer authorized to use their own judgment to open fire if
the situation is anything less than unquestionably life-threatening.
According to a Ynet internet site report, soldiers assigned to the
northern area of Gaza have already expressed their concerns,
explaining their hands are tied – adding that it looks like they are
no longer permitted to use their weapons until they are wounded.
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) accused the government of once again
preventing the IDF from defending Israeli citizens living in Gush
Katif. “The political echelon is once again refusing to allow the
IDF to put a stop to the mortar fire,” he said. (IsraelNationalNews
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