Tags: 'Warfare' | Israel; | West | Bank | Sealed

'Warfare' in Israel; West Bank Sealed

Monday, 13 November 2000 12:00 AM

The head of the Central Command, Major General Yitzhak Eitan, announced the new measures in a late-night briefing in Jerusalem.

Eitan said the siege would affect "all the cities in Judea and Samaria and all the A areas." Judea and Samaria comprise the biblical area now known as the West Bank. The A areas are those that are fully autonomous.

The ruling does not apply to the Gaza Strip, but Palestinians cannot leave it because the crossings to Israel are closed. The airport and the border crossing to Egypt have been closed after gunmen killed a customs broker who worked there.

Eitan said that in the coming days there would be "severe traffic restrictions on the roads for all Palestinian passengers."

A military spokesman said there would be exceptions for humanitarian cases and for shipping supplies.

The move was taken as Palestinians seemed to be changing tactics and targeting Jewish motorists instead of participating in violent demonstrations and shooting at soldiers in well-defended positions.

Late Monday gunmen killed three Israelis north of Ramallah.

Avi Sar-El, of the West Bank settlement of Talmon, said he had slowed down at a junction when a car overtook him and someone inside opened fire.

Sar-El said he immediately looked at his passenger, Sara Lisha, 41, of the settlement of Halamish, northwest of Ramallah.

"I saw two hits. A powerful stream of blood came out of her head. She died on the spot," he said.

Lisha, a mother of five, was a gym teacher and was on her way home after work.

The attackers' car sped away and a few hundred meters down the road drove past a civilian bus carrying soldiers.

The attackers sprayed the bus with automatic gunfire, killing two soldiers and injuring six. Eye witnesses later counted some 50 bullet holes.

The army identified the two soldiers as El'ad Wallenstein, 18, and Amit Zana, 19. They had been sent to guard settlements.

Later that night a truck driver, Gabriel Zaguri, 36, was shot and killed near the Kissufim roadblock in the Gaza Strip.

Police said that Zaguri, a father of three, was hauling produce from the Gaza Strip. Zaguri is survived by three children ages 5 to 9.

A government spokesman, Moshe Fogel, told reporters there have been more than 1,300 shootings in the past six weeks. "There has been an increase in shooting incidents over the weekend. A lot over the weekend," he said.

"We are involved in warfare, terrorism. It may be guerrilla warfare, low intensity warfare, but it is warfare and during warfare the rules of engagement and criteria to defend oneself are also adjusted," he said.

An authoritative military source told United Press International there had been no change in the text of the rules of engagement. Those rules allow soldiers to shoot in life-threatening situations, and the soldiers may judge what is life-threatening, and now more situations can be considered life-threatening.

Monday's attacks spurred West Bank settlers to demand tougher action against Palestinians.

The secretary general of the Council of Settlers, Shlomo Filber, said, "Whoever thinks civilians and soldiers will be sitting ducks in a shooting range and that we will restrain ourselves is wrong!"

He said settlers would not let the Palestinians wage "a deluxe war" in which they shoot at Israeli motorists when they want and then freely use those roads.

Palestinians sources said Israeli soldiers Monday killed two Palestinians during clashes in Gaza Strip's southern town of Khan Yunes.

Nasser Hospital officials there told reporters that Mohamed Al Taweel, and Mohamed Abu Shamalla, both 18 years old, arrived dead after being shot in their chests. In the West Bank town of Kalkilya, an 18-year-old officer in the Palestinian elite Force-17 was killed when Palestinians fired at Israeli soldiers and Israeli tanks returned heavy fire.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Hassan Dahlan, the 17-year-old nephew of the head of the Preventive Security in the Gaza Strip, Mohammad Dahlan, died of his wounds at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, the hospital said.

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The head of the Central Command, Major General Yitzhak Eitan, announced the new measures in a late-night briefing in Jerusalem. Eitan said the siege would affect all the cities in Judea and Samaria and all the A areas. Judea and Samaria comprise the biblical area now...
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Monday, 13 November 2000 12:00 AM
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