Thursday, March 26, 2009

Terror Attack Averted Near Shechem -- Again

Hana Levi Julian

( Israeli security forces have foiled a terrorist attack for the second time in less than a week since a key security checkpoint was dismantled near the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Shechem in Samaria.

The IDF announced Wednesday morning that soldiers arrested three PA Arabs overnight who were carrying a bomb near the Biblical city. The terrorists were discovered in the course of a search that was carried out following a firebomb attack on an Israeli citizen earlier in the evening as he drove to the nearby community of Elon Mor'eh.

The terrorist cell was also carrying a makeshift weapon and a map of the region. They confessed to planning to carry out an attack on IDF soldiers, and they were turned over to security personnel for questioning.

On the southern side of Shechem, meanwhile, soldiers from the IDF's Givati Brigade were kept busy fending off an attack by a Palestinian Authority Arab who hurled sharp objects at the troops.

The incident, which took place at the Hawara checkpoint, ended with soldiers being forced to shoot the attacker after he ignored the warning shots they first fired in the air. The attacker, who was moderately wounded, was evacuated to an Israeli hospital.

Key Shechem Checkpoint Dismantled, Attack Followed
Approximately 100 security incidents – an average of at least one attempted or potential terrorist attack every 10 days -- have been recorded at the Beit Iba checkpoint in the past three years.

Within hours of the early-morning removal of a key security checkpoint on March 15, two police officers met their deaths at the hands of terrorists. The attack occurred at nightfall on a lonely road in the nearby Jordan Valley near the community of Masuah, about 25 (15 miles) kilometers north of Jericho and 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of Tel Aviv.

Police denied there was any connection between the dismantling of the security checkpoint and the terrorist attack that followed but did not explain how they know that the terrorists, who have not been identified, did not pass thorugh Shechem.

A little more than a month earlier, a terrorist was caught in the area of the same checkpoint. The would-be attacker was arrested after a search by Border Police officers produced three pipe bombs and a cache of gunpowder in his bag.

Other Checkpoint Removals Blamed for Past Attacks
The removal of checkpoints has been a bone of contention between terror victims' organizations and the government for years.

Last September an IDF soldier stationed at the Almog junction, just north of the Dead Sea near Jericho, was stabbed by a Muslim terrorist living in the PA-controlled city of Ramallah. The attacker also stole the soldier's weapon.

Three days earlier, an Arab resident of Samaria had stabbed a 9-year-old Jewish boy several times when he discovered the terrorist setting fire to a house in the community of Itamar. The attacker managed to escape.

The Almagor Terror Victims Organization slammed the removal of checkpoints in the area at the time in a letter sent to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, noting that the "good will gesture" to the PA had led to unmonitored travel by tens of thousands of PA residents.

Massive Mall Bombing Foiled in Haifa
Less than a week after the Beit Iba checkpoint was removed, a massive bombing was foiled at the Lev HaMifratz Mall in Haifa. Security guards heard a minor explosion in the outside parking lot on Saturday night, March 21, leading them to investigate further.

"It's important to note that the car was parked in the outer car park and not underground, which means it was not checked by mall security," a police officer told reporters.

Sappers who were immediately called to the scene discovered a live 100 kg (220 lb) complex car bomb ready to detonate. Because time was of the essence, they were forced to delicately dismantle the exceedingly dangerous explosive "live" and by hand.

Had the bomb gone off, it could have collapsed the entire shopping mall, experts said, potentially maiming and killing hundreds of people.

Guest Comment:Here is another example of the Palestinians reacting with excessive force, using collective punishment, and commiting war cimes by targetting civilians, all because Jews dare to live amongst them.


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