Da Jerusalem Post del 31/10/2006
Originale su http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1161811241429&pagename=...

IDF reservist wounded in shooting attack

di Josh Brannon

An IDF reserve soldier was shot and lightly wounded in the course of operations against the terror infrastructure near Ramallah Tuesday evening, an army spokesperson said.

The reservist was hit in the knee as soldiers in vehicles patrolled near the village of Beitunia. He was treated on the scene by army medics and then transferred to the Tel Hashomer hospital, the army said.

The army was conducting searches in the vicinity of the shooting.

IDF troops killed three gunmen and wounded seven others during a firefight in the southern Gaza Strip Tuesday morning, Palestinian Authority officials and the army said.


OLMERT: IDF WILL EXPAND GAZA OPERATION

Two of the dead men were identified as Hamas members, while at least one of the other terrorists - critically wounded according to PA medical officials - was a member of Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

The fight began when soldiers entered Khouza, east of the Khan Yunis refugee camp, PA security officials said.

An IDF spokesperson said reservists backed by tanks and armored bulldozers crossed the border near Abbassin to clear bushes and trees to 500 meters from the security fence. The IDF said the brush has been used in the past to stage attacks on its posts, and to hide entrances to tunnels used by terrorists.

The soldiers spotted a group of armed men planting a bomb and opened fired, hitting several of them.

Four mortar shells were fired at troops in the area, the spokesman said.

Later, Israel Navy gunships fired at Palestinian fishing boats in restricted waters off the Gaza coast, military sources said.

PA security sources said three fisherman were wounded and several others were detained after the navy boarded their vessel.

The IDF said the area had been used in the past by smugglers, and that in one incident, Palestinians targeted Israel Naval forces with "suicide boats" laden with explosives.

No soldiers were injured in any of the day's incidents, the army said.

A Kassam rocket fired from Gaza landed without causing damage in a western Negev community Tuesday, the last of four rockets to be fired from the northern Gaza Strip overnight, Israel Radio said.

OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant said on Tuesday, "Thousands of families living in the Gaza Strip make a living by smuggling weapons into the area."

Hamas has acquired advanced Russian-made weaponry, including an unknown number of AT-14 Kornet antitank missiles, a senior consultant to the Defense Ministry told the Mideast Newsline Web site.

The missiles, which are highly accurate and have a range of 5.5 km., could "break the strategic balance" in the region, according to Shalom Harari. They could "wreak havoc" with IDF tanks and also be used against army posts and civilian sites inside the Green Line, he said.

According to analysts, Hamas learned a great deal from the war in Lebanon and is attempting to emulate Hizbullah's tactics. Hundred of thousands of rounds of ammunition, shoulder-fired missiles, and "tons of military grade explosives" have been smuggled into the Strip since disengagement, according to military officials.

Many of the 116 IDF soldiers killed in southern Lebanon died when missiles, including AT-14 Kornets, were fired by Hizbullah cells or when large bombs detonated beneath Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that Israel planned to expand its military offensive in Gaza in light of the threat caused by round-the-clock arms smuggling from Egypt through tunnels under the Philadelphi corridor.

Israel has been operating in the Gaza Strip since late June, when Hamas abducted Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Late Monday, an IAF aircraft fired missiles at a house in southern Gaza that the IDF said belonged to a Hamas gunmen. The army said it was being used as a weapons storehouse and that area residents had been warned of the impending strike. No one was wounded.

Soldiers arrested 17 wanted Palestinians overnight in the northern West Bank.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah members were taken into custody in raids in and around Kalkilya, Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin.

In subsequent searches, soldiers found a Kalashnikov assault rifle and handguns, the army said.

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