Israel attacks 'base' in Syria
- Israel attacks 'base' in Syria
Aljazeera + Agencies - Oct 5, 2003
Israeli forces have attacked what they said is a Palestinian Islamic
Jihad training base inside Syria.
In its statement, the Israeli army did not say whether air or ground
forces carried out the attack overnight on Sunday.
Palestinian sources in Beirut said Israeli warplanes attacked a
facility belonging to the Islamist resistance group near the capital
Damascus, injuring one man.
However, the Islamic Jihad and Syrian sources denied the area housed
a training base.
"Jihad has no combatants outside the Palestinian territories," said
the group's Beirut-based spokesman Abu Imad Rifai in an interview
Syrian analyst Dr Imad Shuaibi said the attack was aimed at sparking
chaos in the region and send a message to Damascus that Israel was
willing to take military action.
It is believed to be the first Israeli attack deep into Syrian
territory in two decades.
Israel could launch more attacks in Syria if it continues to support
what they said were "terrorist organisations" preparing anti-Israeli
attacks, according to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman.
The Israeli army said the attack was in response to Saturday's blast
in the northern Israeli city of Haifa that killed about 19 people.
The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the blast.
In the occupied Gaza Strip, Israel launched two helicopter attacks on
the homes of resistance fighters.
Helicopter gunships fired several missiles at al-Buraij refugee camp
shortly after 1am local time (23:00 GMT) on Sunday.
The electricity supply in the refugee camp was cut, following at
least two explosions.
Witnesses said the target was the house of an Islamic Jihad activist,
which was empty at the time. Israeli public radio said the target was
an arms and explosives dump.
The attack came shortly after a similar strike on the Gaza City home
of another resistance fighter, which left several people injured by
Palestinian security sources identified him as Munthir Qanita, a
member of the armed wing of the Islamist resistance group Hamas. His
home was also reportedly empty at the time of the attack.
The two Israeli missile attacks were an apparent reprisal for a
bombing in Haifa in which a Palestinian woman from the occupied West
Bank town of Jenin blew herself up and killed 19 others in a
restaurant in the northern Israeli city.
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack which followed
continuing Israeli raids and killings in the Palestinian territories.
Israeli forces demolished the home of the bomber, Hanadi Jaradat, in
the occupied West Bank city of Jenin during a dawn invasion.
Activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) tried to
prevent occupation troops from destroying the house and were beaten
by Israeli forces, reported our correspondent in Jenin.
Dozens of tanks stormed the city, as Israeli slapped a curfew on the
population. Soldiers are carrying out patrols and searching civilian
homes and businesses.
Fears for Arafat
Following the Haifa blast, Israel said the clock is ticking for
Palestinian President Yasir Arafat.
An Israeli warplane was seen hovering over Arafat's Ram Allah
compound in the occupied West Bank.
About 30 foreign and Israeli peace activists joined others at his
headquarters in the West Bank town of Ram Allah to act as human
The Israeli human shields reportedly include at least one former
member of the Israeli parliament.
Clashes broke out in Ram Allah on Saturday night as deployed Israeli
troops were confronted by stone-throwing Palestinian residents.
The Haifa bombing has renewed calls for Israel to carry out its
decision to kill or remove Arafat.
"This is not just another incident. It is an event that rings harshly
in the ears of every Israeli and every Jew," said Deputy Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert.
"We might very well have to take difficult decisions ... If Israel
reaches the conclusion that it must take serious action, it will have
to do it and the world will have to accept it," Olmert said.
Israeli helicopters attack Palestinian town
Occupied Jerusalem: 5 October, 2003 (IAP News)
Israeli helicopters attacked the homes of two suspected Palestinian
resistance fighters in Gaza early Sunday, inflicting heavy damage.
Eyewitnesses said apache gunships fired several missiles at a home in
the al-Bureij refugee camp, wreaking extensive damage in the entire
The home, which belonged to a suspected Islamic Jihad activist, was
completely destroyed and electric supply to the camp was cut
following two explosions.
Earlier, Israeli gunships attacked another home in the Sheikh Ijlin
area in Gaza, causing extensive damage.
Medical sources said several civilians were injured by flying glass
and falling debris.
In the West Bank, the Israeli occupation army imposed curfew on
Nablus and Jenin and began provocative house-to-house searches
for "wanted" activists and
And in Jenin, the occupation army demolished the family home of
Hanadi Taysir Jaradat, the Palestinian trainee lawyer who carried out
the self-bombing attack in Haifa yesterday which killed 19 people and
injured as many as fifty others.
The Islamic Jihad resistance group said it was responsible for the
attack which apparently came after Israeli troops assassinated ten of
the group's fighters and activists during the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government reportedly decided to carry out a
series of reprisals against the Palestinians, which might include
deporting or killing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Arafat condemned the bombing attack in Haifa, calling it an
unjustified attack on civilians.
Israel blamed the Palestinian leadership, particularly Arafat, for
the bombing, saying he failed to crack down on Palestinian resistance
However, most observers in Palestine view the Israeli accusations as
politically motivated, given the fact that Israel, not the PA, is in
control of the entire West Bank and most of the Gaza Strip.
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