Monday, April 28, 2008

Continuing attacks

On Friday, two Israeli civilian security guards were shot dead at an industrial area at Nitzanei Oz, near the border with Tulkarm, east of Netanya. The two guards in their 50s were checking Palestinian workers as they entered the Israeli site. In between two batches of workers a lone gunman, who had been denied entrance, took out a pistol and shot them. One of the guards was facing the opposite way and was shot in the back and the second guard had forgotten his gun in his car. A third guard ran away. The IDF had trained the guards for their security work, and questions are now being asked as to why the security was so lax. The assailant got away.
While several rockets continue to land every day in and around Sderot, the IDF captured two terrorists who had infiltrated Israel near Beit Haniya in the northern Gaza Strip on their way to carry out a terror attack in southern Israel. The IDF also mounted a raid into Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza and captured a local Hamas terrorist leader, Talat Hassan Marouf, after a fierce gunfight around his home. During the fighting his daughter was killed and his wife and nine other gunmen were injured. This is part of a campaign by Israel to let Hamas leaders know that they are not safe from IDF attacks or from capture, just as they carry out attacks in attempts to kidnap further IDF soldiers.
Pres. Abbas returned to Ramallah from the US on Saturday, and proclaimed that his talks with Pres. George Bush in Washington had been unsuccessful. Although the Bush Adminstration put a positive spin on the visit, stating that Israel and the PA were getting closer to a "shelf" agreement, Abbas did not reflect this. While he criticized Israel and the US, neither the US not Israel criticized Abbas, because they support him against his internal enemy Hamas.
At the same time Hamas called for Abbas to renew negotiations with them in view of the "failure" of the Annapolis peace talks. Today Abbas is due to visit Pres. Mubarak in Egypt and bring him up-to-date on his meetings. Mubarak has been played a mediatory role between Fatah and Hamas, and reportedly also between Hamas and Israel, although the Israeli Govt. spokeman denies this. There is no real possibility of a temporary ceasefire (hudna) while Hamas continues rocket and terrorist attacks on Israel and Israel is forced to respond to these attacks.


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