Police: security flaws at E. J’lem site where 2 killed

22/11/2003 23:10 By Jonathan Lis and Ran Resnick, Haaretz Correspondents According to a preliminary police report, there were a number of security flaws at the site of Saturday’s attack in which two Israeli security guards were shot dead at a construction site along the route of the separation fence.

In the attack, gunmen opened fire from a nearby wadi while the two guards were in a car. The Jenin Martyrs’ Brigades, a group associated with Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, published a leaflet in which they claimed responsibility for the attack. The report stated the two guards were sitting in one of the guards’ private vehicle, contrary to security instructions. In addition, three other security guards who were supposed to be at the site had left to pick up their replacements. The attack took place 15 minutes after a Border Police patrol visited the guards at the site, at which time all five were present. The gunmen stole the weapons belonging to the guards in the car, and escaped. Israel Defense Forces soldiers were searching the area for the gunmen. Palestinian security sources said that soldiers in ten jeeps raided a Palestinian police station in the area after the attack and took over a Palestinian checkpoint there. According to Magen David Adom rescue workers, the two guards were critically wounded, and died of their wounds shortly after the shooting. Police said that the two men were guarding equipment at a construction site and were shot at close range. The identity of the gunmen is not yet known. IDF troops kill two Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza Israel Defense Forces troops killed an armed Palestinian along the security fence in the Gaza Strip late Friday night, Israel Radio reported. Troops found the body, along with a Kalashnikov rifle, during patrols Saturday morning. Local Palestinian sources identified the dead man as 25-year-old Hamas militant Ahmad Hussein. Soldiers also found a 20-kilogram explosive device nearby, which was safely detonated. Also Saturday, Palestinian sources said that 10-year-old Ibrahim Jalamna was shot and killed in a clash between Palestinian youths throwing stones and IDF troops in the West Bank city of Jenin, Israel Radio reported. IDF sources said soldiers fired at an armed man inside a stone-throwing crowd who had fired shots at them. „The connection between this event and the report of the boy’s death is being checked and investigated,” the sources said. Thousands of Hamas, Jihad supporters protest against Geneva Accords Thousands of Palestinian militants protested in the Gaza Strip and West Bank on Friday against the Geneva Accords, calling the peace initiative a „betrayal.” „Foreign occupation is destined to be erased, as is the monstrous Geneva Agreement,” Islamic Jihad chief Mohammed al-Hindi said during a mass Gaza rally called to denounce the document named after its Swiss mediators. „The cause of Palestine is a cause of refugees and any solution that does not secure our return will not be accepted,” said a resident of Gaza’s Jabalya camp which hosted the rally. Hamas and Islamic Jihad called for protests to be held outside the homes of Geneva’s Palestinian signatories – former cabinet minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, Minister for Prisoner Affairs Hisham Abdel-Razek, and lawmakers from Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. „They must be punished and prosecuted. Who gave them the right to speak on behalf of our people inside closed restaurants and air-conditioned hotel rooms?” Hamas political leader Nizar Rayan told a cheering crowd of thousands. „We will continue to condemn it (Geneva) and collect people’s signatures and take to the streets until we bring it down just like Oslo.” Speakers criticised Geneva’s call for Palestinian-Israel security coordination to curb militant groups, a key requirement of the U.S.-backed road map plan to Middle East peace. „The Geneva Agreement is a betrayal,” chanted the crowd. 200,000 Palestinian worshippers gather for prayers at Temple Mount Some 200,000 Palestinian worshippers have gathered Friday for prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. Jerusalem police and Border Police were out in large numbers for the prayers, which passed off without incident. Ealier Friday, Palestinian sources reported that a large-scale military force entered the refugee camp of Tul Karm in the West Bank and surrounded one of the mosques. No further details were reported. Meanwhile, the IDF is investigating an incident in which a tank commander refused an order to fire at a Palestinian who was in the process of placing a bomb on a Gaza Strip road, Israel Radio reported Friday. A paratroop unit in the Gaza settlement of Netzarim saw a Palestinian man placing a bomb on the Karni-Netzarim road Thursday, and the commander of the reservist unit ordered the troops to fire. But despite receiving several direct orders, the tank commander refused to shoot, saying he was unable to see the Palestinian man’s entire body, according to the radio. His comrades repeatedly tried to direct his vision toward the target, to no avail. The Palestinian man finished placing the bomb on the Karni-Netzarim road and escaped unharmed, the radio reported; sappers then defused the bomb. Military sources told Israel Radio they didn’t understand why the tank gunner refused to fire, and that the army was investigating the incident. Also Friday, Palestinian sources told Israel Radio that undercover security forces arrested central Fatah activist Ahmed Dweikat in Nablus on Thursday. The security forces got out of a car in a main road in the West Bank city of Nablus, arrested Dweikat, put him in the car quickly, and drove away, the sources said. Before dawn Friday, troops arrested five Palestinians in the West Bank. On Thursday evening, IDF troops in the Gaza Strip killed an armed Palestinian crawling toward the fence around Netzarim, Israel Radio reported,and BPI.