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Deputy Premier Peres: 'Gaza Strip Is Baby Of Palestinian Leader Abbas'

'Terror Execution Of Moussa Arafat Indicates Abbas Is Not In Control'

IDF Chief Of Staff Halutz: 'If Palestinians Again Shell Israeli Civilians, We Must Show Them We Also Have Mortars'

Moussa Arafat

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian gunmen have again gone on the rampage. In a pre-dawn they stormed the home of Moussa Arafat and after a thirty minute gun-battle, dragged him into the street and shot him to death. Moussa Arafat, currently an advisor to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was one of the most unpopular officials in the Gaza Strip notorious for corruption and torturing other Palestinians in the past. In another incident, Palestinian rioters tried to storm an Israeli tank as the IDF prepares to withdraw after the settlements have already been evacuated.

‘The Gaza Strip is now the baby of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’.

Shimon Peres

That’s the reaction of Deputy Premier Shimon Peres to the two Palestinian acts of violence which have threatened law and order over the past 24 hours. First, a mob of Palestinian demonstrators broke through the security fence and tried to storm an Israeli tank. In fending off the rioters, Israeli troops fired warning shots but to no avail. One Palestinian was killed. In a second incident, Palestinian terrorists executed Moussa Arafat, a leading Palestinian official and a close relative of Yasser Arafat. Moussa Arafat was dragged from his home and riddled with twenty-five bullets. The ‘Popular Resistance Committee’ charged him with corruption. Although lawlessness is not new to the Palestinian Street, the latest incidents pose a serious challenge to the rule of leader Mahmoud Abbas. Shimon Peres says Abbas must start backing up his motto of ‘One gun, one authority’. Otherwise, Peres warns the anarchy will devour Palestinian society.

At a briefing of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, a senior IDF intelligence officer said Palestinian Police succeeded in blocking a first wave of Palestinian rioters from storming an IDF tank as the military prepares to withdraw. However, a second wave of several dozen broke through and started climbing on the tank. That’s when IDF forces opened fire killing one of the rioters. The IDF expects top be ready to complete the evacuation of its installations by September 15th and within twenty-fours. The officer went on to say a much smaller IDF force will be required to be stationed on the Gaza border after the evacuation. In addition, over $20 million dollars is being invested in reinforcing Israeli towns and villages that might come under Palestinian shelling attacks in the future. The ‘Red Dawn’ early warning system to warn of incoming Qassam rockets and mortars is to be extended along the entire Gaza frontier. The radar system that sounds sirens to warn civilians to take cover has proved to be highly successful in the town of Sderot which has been a favorite Palestinian target.

Dan Halutz

New Policy Debate: What happens if the Palestinian terrorists exploit Israel’s withdrawal and move their rockets and mortars right up to the border to shell Israeli towns and villages? As reported by IsraCast on September 4th, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz favors a severe Israeli reaction. Lt. Gen. Halutz told the committee he will recommend to the government that Israel should hit back hard. Until now, the IDF has targeted solely the sources of Palestinian shelling and gunfire. The Chief of Staff said: ‘If the Palestinians start launching mortars indiscriminately at our villages, we should also show them that we have mortars.’ At the same time, Gen. Halutz stressed he would carry out the orders of the political echelon.

Previously, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have drawn Israel into a war of attrition to extract concessions. In the Gaza Strip, they pursued this policy by launching Qassam rockets and mortars over Israel’s security fence which they cannot penetrate on the ground. After all IDF soldiers are evacuated from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians will have no excuse for exploiting it to launch fresh attacks on Israel. Committee chairman Yuval Steinitz of the Likud declared Israel must adopt ‘an eye for an eye policy’ if the Palestinians start shelling Israeli civilians again from territory relinquished by Israel. Did this mean shelling Palestinian civilians? Steinitz says yes, if need be. MK Aryeh Eldad of National Union argued that Prime Minister Sharon would give in to foreign pressure and refrain from carrying out a stiffer policy of deterrents.

Terror Update: Palestinian terror attacks are expected to escalate from the West Bank in the near future. Islamic Jihad is expected to lead the new assault from its bases in the towns of Tul Kerm and Kalkilya. Now running in the January lections, Hamas is sticking to the ‘tahadiya’ lull by not carrying out attacks. But the IDF officer warned Hamas would kidnap Israelis to exchange for prisoners, if given the chance.As for the recent IDF operation that five killed five Palestinians in Tul Kerm, the Chief of Staff is conducting an enquiry next week. Three of those killed were members of Islamic Jihad which carried out deadly suicide bombings in Netanyahu and at the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv. The two others collaborated with Jihad. What is known is that Palestinians first opened fire with a pistol when Israeli security forces raided a building known to be controlled by the terror organization. But Gen. Halutz was reportedly not satisfied with the fact that five Palestinian were killed if the objective was to arrest them. The again, the operation was carried out during the very sensitive time when the Israeli settlements were being evacuated in the Gaza Strip and the idea was to preserve quiet as possible

David Essing

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