Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Av 5761 - August 8, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Gilo Gets Bullet Barriers; Attacks Continue on Both Sides
by Yated Ne'eman Staff and M Plaut

As Palestinians renewed the shooting from Beit Jala towards Gilo, the Jerusalem Municipality and the State completed the first state of protecting the apartments in Gilo from Palestinian attacks as they put bullet proof glass in at least one room of 620 apartments exposed to attacks.

Motzei Shabbos there was an intense attack on Gilo in response to successful preventive killings of Palestinian terrorists earlier in the day, and bullets struck at least two of the armored windows and did not penetrate the apartments.

Soon work is to continue protecting more rooms in those apartments and an additional 240 apartments are also slated to get bullet proof glass in their windows.

Though grateful for the armor, residents are weary of the shootings. Several mortar shells have also been fired. They are frightening and make a lot of noise, but so far they have not caused serious damage.

Though life in most of Jerusalem continues as normal, for the residents of Gilo life is far from the way it was more than ten months ago, before the series of Palestinian attacks known as the Al Aqsa Intifadah began.

Sunday was another day of tragedy and miracles. A lone gunman opened fire in the middle of Tel Aviv in front of the main Israel Defense Forces staff compound ("Kiriya"). He wounded ten lightly, most of them soldiers on their lunch break, before being shot and killed by a traffic policeman.

Palestinians killed an Israeli woman, Techiya Lomberg, and wounded four other people as they drove near the settlement of Alfei Menashe. It was an area that has suffered several such shootings. The wounded were evacuated to hospitals. One, the husband of Mrs. Lomberg, is in serious condition. Investigators were not sure if it was a drive-by shooting from a passing car or from an ambush.

Also on Sunday, the Israeli Army fired missiles at a car in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, killing Amal Mansour Hassan Madeiri, a senior Hamas fighter in the area. The Army spokesman said that car in which he was riding when killed carried a large quantity of explosives that he was on the way to give to two suicide terrorists who planned to detonate it in a crowd. Near Tulkarm, soldiers also shot dead another Palestinian planting a roadside bomb. An accomplice escaped.

The missile strike was the third in less than a week, part of Israel's pattern of singling out Palestinians involved in terror for death before they can wreak further havoc. Israeli leaders say these are a legitimate form of self-defense, and that all their targets were men who had helped carry out mass terrorist attacks or were about to.

Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, made it plain on Sunday that he was not about to abandon the tactic.

Sources in the Israeli government said that the pressure of these targeted attacks is beginning to show its effects. They noted that senior Palestinians all live in constant fear for their lives and take measures to avoid detection. Also Arafat and other Palestinian leaders have begun to issue calls for a cease fire. Though these are all issued only in English and the incitement in Arabic has not obviously abated, still these calls are the first such declarations in the ten months of Palestinian violence. However, Sharon said that since the last call by Arafat there were 88 Palestinian attacks.

Sources also speculate that the involvement of Palestinians who have no experience in terror probably also shows that the attacks are thinning the ranks. The teenager who tried to bring a bomb onto the bus last Thursday and the woman who tried to bring a bomb into the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station on Friday were obviously not experienced fighters making it relatively easier to overcome them once detected. Of course if, chas vesholom, they would have been successful, their attacks may have been no less deadly for their inexperience. Also the gunman yesterday in Tel Aviv was not known as a terrorist, though neighbors said he always went around with a gun.

Defense Minister Ben Eliezer said that there is a developing debate on the Palestinian side whether to continue with the attacks or to restrict the activity to mass protests and possibly rock throwing. "If the mass of Palestinians begins to think twice about where all the violence is leading and about the effect it all has on the Palestinian people -- then dayeinu," said Ben Eliezer.


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