Thursday afternoon Israeli Air Force (IAF) fighters launched missiles at two vehicles speeding toward an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) outpost at the Kissufim border crossing between Israel and Gaza. A series of huge secondary explosions after the missiles hit their targets indicated that the vehicles carried hundreds of kilograms of explosives. As reported by Israel National News/Arutz 7,
the IAF was on alert following intelligence reports of an impending attack procured by the General Security Services. The terrorist vehicles were some 300 meters away from the IDF outpost when they were intercepted.
Two terrorists were killed outright by the missiles, two more were killed by machine gun fire from the attacking jets, and Golani Division troops, who entered Gaza to mop up, engaged in a fire fight with two surviving terrorists and killed them. Arab sources claimed one attacker escaped. Col. Shlomi Dahan said that the six Palestinians killed were carrying machine guns, grenades and some of them even suicide bomb belts. "This was an attack with the goal of kidnapping a soldier," Dahan said. He also speculated that an attack on nearby Kibbutz Kissufim may have been an objective of the terrorists.
The Al-Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad) and the Al-Aksa Brigades (Fatah) took credit for the attack, announcing afterwards that the objective was to carry out an attack in the IDF outpost. Fatah, is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has been meeting recently with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Quartet's Special Envoy Tony Blair ahead of an upcoming Middle East summit to be convened by the United States. Olmert continues to take steps to "strengthen" Fatah against its rival for power in the PA, Hamas.
The foiled attack at the Kissufim crossing was one of four Palestinian attacks on Israel launched within a 24-hour period on Thursday. I am shocked, shocked to inform Hedgehog readers that the Los Angeles Times carried no news coverage regarding any of the attacks, perhaps because it would have been difficult to spin them into an anti-Israeli story.
Then today (Sunday), as reported here by the Jerusalem Post
, IDF soldiers at the Beit Iba checkpoint, near Nablus (the Biblical city of Shechem), intercepted a teenage boy trying smuggle three pipe bombs into across the "green line," apparently intended for a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. The Beit Iba checkpoint is one of the roadblocks for which the U.S. State Department, former President Carter, the L.A. Times, Peace Now and their ilk are always criticizing Israel, because they create hardship for the Palestinians. I await their analysis regarding the hardship that the three pipe bombs might have caused in Tel Aviv.
IDF sources said all terror organizations active in the so-called "West Bank" (Yehuda and Shomron - Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - were plotting to carry out terror attacks in Israel and were sometimes cooperating with each other. Note that these terrorist activities do not orignate from Hamas-ruled Gaza, but rather from the territories governed by PA President and Fatah Chaiman Mahmoud Abbas. The policy of publicly seeking negotiations and Israeli concessions while privately tolerating, if not actively fomenting. terror attacks was precisely the tactic pursued by the late Yassir Arafat (may his name be erased) in the years following the Oslo Accords. It has characterized the entire history of the so-called "peace process." Secretary of State Rice and Prime Minister Olmert always stress that Abbas is different from Arafat and a true partner for peace. So far the only discernible difference is that he wears a nice suit and tie rather than a military uniform.
Meanwhile, as also reported by the Jerusalem Post
, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, buoyed by his near-zero popularity rating, the total absence of any political mandate to negotiate further withdrawals in Yehuda and Shomron, and dire warnings of the danger of further concessions from Israeli intelligence and military advisors, including his own Defense Minister, plans to sit down on Monday with Abbas to continue "peacemaking efforts" in advance of a planned visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and an international peace conference set for November in Washington, D.C.
All indications are that the Olmert government will offer to withdraw from almost all of Yehuda and Shomron, cede portions of pre-1967 Israel to make up for any post-1967 territories retained by Israel, and recognize Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, including most of the Old City and the Temple Mount. President George W. Bush, for whom I voted twice, and Secretary Rice not only fully back this policy, but are diplomatically pressuring Israel to maximize the concessions to be made to the terrorist Palestinian regime, which does not even speak for the even more extreme terrorist Palestinian regime that rules Gaza.