Following bus bombing: Israel tightens curfews on Palestinian towns and villages; Houses demolished
The Israeli army is set to tighten curfews on Palestinian towns and villages following the attack on the bus near the northern town of Karkur Monday afternoon, which was carried out by Islamic Jihad and killed 14, Israeli army spokeswoman said. About 45 people were wounded in the blast. The army said 15 of the wounded were soldiers.
The measure was agreed upon in a meeting of Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer with the heads of the security establishment, the Israeli Army, the Shin Bet security service and police Monday night, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The tightening of curfews was prompted by many warning for further attacks, either by Islamic Jihad or other groups, especially from the Northern West Bank, Israel Radio reported.
The Israeli army's chief spokeswoman, Brig. Gen. Ruth Yaron linked the attacks to the recent easing of curfews in some West Bank towns. "We'll have to be very careful now, there are probably more ticking bombs on the way," she said, according to AP. "We have to re-evaluate the situation and see if we have any information on where the next attack might be coming from."
The bombing raised the prospect of tough Israeli retaliation, and Public Security Minister Uzi Landau called for disbanding the Palestinian security forces. "We must not take our feet off the gas pedal, and keep acting with the utmost thoroughness in all the pockets of Palestinian terror," he said.
The Islamic Jihad said the attack was in "retaliation for the series of massacres committed by the criminal enemy against our people." It cited recent Israeli military operations that have resulted in Palestinian civilian deaths in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad did not identify the assailants. However, residents of the West Bank town of Jenin said two young men, Mohammed Hassanein and Ashraf Al Asmar, had been missing for several days.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers Monday night arrested two Palestinians. According to Israel Radio, one of the men was arrested in Ramallah. The other was detained in Bethlehem.
Elsewhere, Israeli troops demolished the homes of two Palestinian activists near Nablus. According to Israel Radio, in Balata refugee camp, troops destroyed the home of one of two suicide bombers who exploded on July 17 near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. Five people were killed and 40 injured in this attack. The name of the bomber was Ibrahim Abu el-Wafa Naji.
In Salem village, soldiers destroyed the home of a member in the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Mahmoud Isa, who is responsible for a number of attacks against Israeli targets. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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