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
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
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