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IDF tank in Gaza Photo: Hanan Greenberg
IDF tank in Gaza Photo: Hanan Greenberg

Terror returns to Gaza?

About 25 Palestinian attacks reported in Gaza Strip last week; figure marks threefold increase from recent weeks

By Hanan Greenberg
Latest Update: 04.17.05, 20:30 / Israel News

GAZA - About 25 Palestinian attacks were reported in the Gaza Strip last week, a figure that marks a 300 percent increase compared to the number of attacks in recent weeks.


IDF officials are concerned over the growing violence in the Strip and warn that the lull in violence could end if the Palestinian Authority fails to take action against terrorist groups.


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“We’re certainly sensing an erosion in the cease-fire, and less preventative action by the Palestinians,” one army official said.


Sunday evening, IDF forces detained two unarmed Palestinian infiltrators who crossed the central Gaza Strip security fence. Since the beginning of the year, 40 Palestinian infiltration attempts were foiled by the army.


“In recent weeks, we had about seven or eight terror incidents and therefore the past week marks a worrisome increase,” another military source told Ynet.


Small groups behind most attacks


The IDF has so far refrained from initiating offensive action in response to the growing violence, in light of understandings reached with the Palestinian Authority.


“The responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Palestinians. The terror incidents must not continue,” an IDF official said. “At times the difference between an incident that ends without casualties and one that may end with casualties is very slim. It’s clear that in such case it would be difficult to ignore (the attacks).”


Small terror groups not committed to the truce, and particularly the Popular Resistance Committees, are behind most of the latest incidents, the army said.


“They act from the same locations and enjoy the fact nobody stops them,” one army officer said.


First Published: 04.17.05, 19:42


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