Photo: Hanan Greenberg
Philadelphi Route under fire once more
Photo: Hanan Greenberg

Army's patience wearing thin

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas must be pressed to curb growing Gaza Strip violence, IDF officials say. Earlier Monday, two Israelis wounded in Palestinian shooting attack near Philadelphi Route

GAZA - The IDF's patience is wearing thin in the face of growing Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip, army officials said Monday, after a soldier sustained moderate injuries and an Israeli civilian was moderately wounded by Palestinian fire along the Philadelphi Route.


A short while later, Palestinians opened fired near the Neve Dekalim settlement in Gush Katif. No one was hurt in that incident. 


The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the first attack.


"It's impossible that the same small group, the Popular Committees, continues to operate freely in violation of Abu Mazen's (Abbas) understandings, at our expanse," one IDF official said. "Yesterday someone was lightly wounded, today someone was seriously injured, and tomorrow it will end in disaster," he said.


IDF Southern Command forces have refrained from offensive activity in recent weeks following agreements with the Palestinian Authority. However, following Monday's attacks there are growing calls on the government to authorize a more serious response.


"Someone must press Abu Mazen to act…this situation cannot go on," an army official said.


'Attack was a response to Israeli violations'


Meanwhile, Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Abir told Ynet the attack came in response to what he said was Israel's violation of the calm last week, referring to the killing of three Palestinian youngsters in Rafah and an al-Aqsa member in Nablus.


The shooting incident occured at a construction site of the wall that would define the new security zone in southern Gaza. So far, IDF engineering corps built about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) of the barrier.


Troops building the wall have been using a large metal plate to protect themselves from roadside bombs and bullets fired out of neighboring Rafah. Any time one of the soldiers leaves the protective shield, he is required to wear a bulletproof vest.


Monday's attack was not the first time the Palestinians have tried to put an end to the construction. Last week, two roadside bombs were uncovered and neutralized before exploding in the area.


פרסום ראשון: 04.18.05, 15:05
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