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[Hebron attack]
A Palestinian man adjust his shirt as he opens the door to his house to Israeli soldiers conducting a house-to-house search in the West Bank town of Hebron early 16 November 2002, the morning after 12 Israelis, mainly border patrol police and soldiers, were killed and some 15 wounded in an attack by Palestinian militants as they left the holy site following the Shabbat prayers. AFP photo...






And the insane killing in Palestine goes on, and on, and on.  How much blood will be enough???

There seems to be no end to the killing that is going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  It really makes one admit that these peoples are all crazy.  There is no end to this bloodletting.  It seems like they will never get tired of killing each other.  Neither can stop the killing.  It is an eternal feud with scant hope of ending.

The Israeli economy is suffering.  There are funerals every day in Israel and Palestine.  And neither side has the inclination to bring all this to an end.

The only bright spot is that the Israelis are going to re-elect Sharon as opposed to Netanyahu.  Sharon started this latest round of insanity with the Palestinians on September 28, 2000, when he visited the Temple Mount.

I wonder if it bothers him that all the people who have died did so because of his one act of arrogance.

It is obvious from this latest attack that weapons are flowing into Palestine.  This was a military ambush.  This was not a suicide bomber.  And when Israel retaliates, there will be more and fiercer battles.

In the end, there will be peace.  Total annihilation of either side is not possible. So in the end there must be peace.  The question is when?  When?  When?

John WorldPeace
Novmeber 16,  2002

Today: November 16, 2002 at 6:00:16 PST

Israel Responds to Deadly Ambush


HEBRON, West Bank- Israeli troops seized all of this divided city Saturday in response to an ambush on Jewish worshippers in which Palestinian gunmen lured security forces into a narrow alley and raked them with massive fire. Twelve Israelis were killed and 14 wounded.

In the attack Friday evening, Palestinian gunmen fired on Jewish settlers walking home from prayers. As security forces battled back, many became trapped in a side street. Soldiers and members of the paramilitary border police accounted for nine of the dead.

The killings marked one of the highest death tolls suffered by Israeli forces in a single encounter since the Mideast violence erupted more than two years ago.

Col. Dror Weinberg, the army commander for the Hebron area, was among those killed, and the violence raised the prospect that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government will take strong retaliatory action.

The commander of West Bank forces, Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinski, said Saturday that "the army intends to return to its previous deployment in the city, that is, to be in all parts of the city."

Troops had withdrawn from the Palestinian sector of Hebron last month, but returned in force Saturday, with soldiers patrolling the mostly deserted streets.

Friday's bloodshed began as Jewish worshippers were walking home from Sabbath prayers in the ancient Tomb of the Patriarchs in central Hebron, to the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba, about a half-mile away, just to the east of the town.

Gunmen from the Islamic Jihad group opened fire with rifles and grenades, and the security forces returned fire, and were soon joined by reinforcements, including soldiers from a nearby army post.

Soldiers pursued the gunmen onto a narrow side street, where the troops came under withering fire, apparently part of a well-planned ambush, according to one army officer in Hebron who declined to give his name. The gunbattle then raged until the troops killed three Palestinian attackers, though more were believed to have been involved, and presumably escaped, the officer said.

"There was gunfire from left and right, from every possible angle, they were shooting at us from above," one man, who gave his name only as Arik, told Army Radio.

Because the Palestinian gunmen were firing from such a densely populated area, it was difficult for soldiers to locate the source of the shooting, said Kaplinski. During the battle and afterward, flares lit up the night sky and military helicopters helped evacuate the wounded.

Four Israeli soldiers, five border policemen and three Israeli civilians were killed. The dead civilians were from Kiryat Arba and included at least one member of a local volunteer security group.

Fourteen Israelis were wounded.

After the shooting stopped, Israeli forces tore down three Palestinian homes used by the gunmen.

The Israeli government did not say how it would respond. However, Sharon's government has warned repeatedly it will hit back hard following attacks. In the past, the army has moved into Palestinian cities, tracked down members of the Palestinian group responsible, and besieged the compound of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

After recent attacks, hardliners in Sharon's government have called for sending Arafat into exile, but so far the government has refrained from taking such action. The Israeli security services and the United States government have both warned against it.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the Palestinians had carried out a "Sabbath massacre."

Asked about the attack, Arafat aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh said, "the only solution to ending the cycle of violence is to come back to the negotiating table without conditions."

Islamic Jihad said the shooting was revenge for the recent killing of its northern West Bank commander, Iyad Sawalha. Israel said Sawalha orchestrated two deadly bus attacks, including an Oct. 21 bombing that killed 14 people in northern Israel.

As news of the shooting reached Palestinian areas, dozens of Islamic Jihad supporters in the Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip rushed into the streets Friday night to celebrate, with some firing in the air. "This is retaliation for the daily crimes and ugly massacres committed by the Zionist occupation against our people," one armed man said over loudspeaker.

Hebron, to the south of Jerusalem, has long been a volatile place filled with religious and political tensions. Hebron is home to about 130,000 Palestinians, and about 450 Jewish settlers, who are protected by the security forces. Muslims here are among the most devout and the Jewish settlers among the most radical, and there are daily provocations.

Hebron's so-called "worshippers' lane" where the attack took place links the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba and downtown Hebron, and has been targeted by Palestinian gunmen in the past. Several thousand settlers live in heavily protected Kiryat Arba, just to the east of Hebron.

Hebron has had a history of deadly Jewish-Arab violence.

Jews had lived there for centuries alongside Arabs until a spasm of rage swept the city in 1929. Arabs rioted, killed dozens of Jews with guns and axes and drove the others out, destroying the city's ancient Jewish quarter.

After Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, Jews began moving back into Hebron, and today some 450 Israeli settlers - many of them considered extremist - live in several enclaves in the town.

One of the flashpoints is the Tomb where Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein shot dead 29 Muslim worshippers in February 1994 before being beaten to death. The massacre sparked riots that lasted for days and helped spawn the phenomenon of suicide bombings against Israelis.

In violence Saturday, two Palestinians were killed in the northern West Bank.

In Jenin, 17-year-old gunman Ibrahim Saade was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in the town's refugee camp, according to Palestinian security officials. Saade, whose brother was killed in similar circumstances three months ago, is the son of the Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, Sheik Bassam Saade, who is himself wanted by Israel.

In Nablus, a 20-year-old woman, Samar Sharab, was hit by Israeli army fire while looking out the window of her home, according to her father, Mahmoud Sharab. The Israeli military said it was checking the report.


November 16, 2002 12:04 PM
Israel retaliates against Friday's Palestinian attack in Hebron
Israeli helicopter gunships have reportedly fired on a building in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli military sources said the building was a Palestinian bomb factory.
The Israeli army says it has also arrested a number of suspected Palestinian militants in Hebron.
The military action follows a Palestinian attack in the West Bank town on Friday night which left 12 Israelis dead and 15 others injured.
The Islamic Jihad militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

swissinfo / SRI

Palestinian gunmen attack Hebron settlers
Israeli copters fire missiles at metal foundry
Larry Kaplow - Cox Mideast Correspondent
Saturday, November 16, 2002

Jerusalem --- Palestinian gunmen ambushed Jewish settlers and soldiers in Hebron on Friday night, killing at least 12 Israelis and wounding 15. The attack, in the divided and notoriously volatile West Bank city, was likely to prompt a stiff Israeli military reaction and perhaps a new cycle of violence on both sides.

The attack occurred at about 7 p.m. when Jewish settlers near Hebron were walking from Sabbath prayers in a heavily guarded corridor through the predominantly Palestinian city.

Late Friday, the army surrounded a house where the militants were believed to be holed up and Israeli television reported that the army had killed two.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was conferring early today with military aides about a response to the attack.

In the Gaza Strip early today, two Israeli helicopters fired four missiles at a metal foundry, witnesses said. There were no reports of casualties. Israel has launched similar raids in the past against workshops it suspects are arms factories.

Hebron, with about 130,000 Palestinians, also is home to about 6,000 Jewish settlers, 450 of whom live in its downtown area. The settlers were reportedly walking from the Tomb of the Patriarchs, holy to both Muslims and Jews as the location of the tomb of Abraham.

They were headed from the nearly 900-year-old towering stone structure to the settlement of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to the city.

The attack appeared to be a coordinated ambush that brought gunfire and grenades on the settlers and the soldiers escorting them. Reinforcements and medics also came under heavy fire and a gun battle continued for more than 90 minutes while Israeli helicopters carried the wounded to Jerusalem hospitals.

An official at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where eight of the wounded were taken, said that at least four were soldiers and all were men.

The militant fundamentalist group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for the Israeli killing a week ago of Iyad Sawalha, one of the group's commanders and a mastermind of its campaign of suicide bombings.

News services reported that the attack was in one of the city's many narrow alleyways.

''Suddenly, I saw shooting from all directions, from the right, the left, all directions,'' a soldier named Arik said on Israeli Army Radio. ''I didn't know where to go.''

It was the second lethal Palestinian attack in a bloody week. A Palestinian gunman killed five people, including a woman and her two small sons, in a midnight raid on a kibbutz in northern Israel on Sunday.

After that attack, Israeli troops took up positions in the streets of the large Palestinian city of Nablus, sweeping through that and other towns, arresting dozens.

Also during the week, Israeli troops reportedly killed two Palestinian toddlers in separate shootings in the Gaza Strip.

Hebron has long been known for violence between Jews and Muslims. In 1929, Arab rioters killed scores of Jews.

Jews returned to the city after it was captured by Israel in 1967 during the Middle East war. A small group of civilian Israelis gained a foothold in the downtown, which later grew into a Jewish settlement.

In 1994, settler Baruch Goldstein gunned down 29 Muslims as they prayed at the Tomb of the Patriachs. He is still revered by many settlers in the area, who are known to be among the most extreme in the settlement movement.

How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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