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NEWS: Three Palestinians Killed in Rafah; Hamas Releases Video Warning

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posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 12:46 PM
Submitted by: sanctum Article by: Valhall
Three people were killed and 17 wounded following an Israeli Army incursion in Rafah. The cause of the 'explosion' is being disputed by both sides with the Palestinians claiming it came from tank fire and the Israeli forces denying any part in the matter.
August 4, 2004

Among the wounded were three children under the age of 10 as well as a Palestinian cameraman for the Reuters news agency.

Witnesses said the blast was caused by a tank shell, but Israeli sources insisted their forces had nothing to do with it.

An Israeli source said that while there had been exchanges of fire, the fatal blast was not caused by the soldiers.

"The last time we fired in the area was about an hour and a half before. For sure it had nothing to do with us," he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Rafah continues to be raided by IDF forces claiming to be searching for tunnels that could be used by Palestinian terrorist groups. In the latest raid 10 houses were bulldozed, but no tunnels have been found yet.

Meanwhile, Hamas has threatened to launch a rocket attack on the Israeli town of Sderot if the IDF does pull out of Beit Hanun, located in the northern regions of the Gaza Strip.

"Residents of Sderot, stop your army's crimes and get it out of Beit Hanun, or else you will be the ones paying the price," warned one of three masked gunmen on the footage aired by the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya.

"We have decided to send you Qassam rockets to whatever place you thought was safe. We have prepared rockets that can reach wherever we want ... and we will continue to bombard you daily," he said, reading from a prepared statement.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is the first videotaped warning ever released by Hamas according to sources.

[edit on 8-4-2004 by Valhall]

[edit on 8-5-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 05:34 AM

Originally posted by sanctum

Among the wounded were three children under the age of 10 as well as a Palestinian cameraman for the Reuters news agency.

According to the Reuters cameraman, who was lightly injured in the blast, the bomb has been planted by Palestinian militants :

Reuters: Three Palestinians Killed in Gaza Explosion

Reuters VIDEO

Witnesses and Israel's army said the Palestinians had been trying to detonate the bomb against the troops in Rafah when it blew up as an Israeli armored bulldozer rumbled across a pile of rubble.

At least 15 people were wounded, including a Reuters cameraman, who was hit in the hand by shrapnel.

"I was next to the border and suddenly there was a big explosion," said cameraman Bassam Masoud.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The IDF's Southern Command said there had been no IDF shooting at the time in question.

Related News Links:
haaretz: Three Hamas men killed by own bomb in Rafah
AP/Toronto Globe and Mail: Palestinian Attackers Get Wrong Target

A weapon smuggling tunnel was uncovered tonight under a pavilion at the yard of an abandoned residential house, during an IDF activity on the outskirts of Rafah.

IDF continues operations in Rafah

The tunnel opening and shaft were dug next to an abandoned house and was 10-meters deep.

Inside the tunnel, soldiers found a ladder, ropes and lighting equipment.
Security forces continue to operate in the area and will blow up the tunnel in the course of the day.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Approximately 20 weapon smuggling tunnels were uncovered during 2004

[edit on 4-8-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:06 AM
This year, more than 20 Qassam rockets landed in Israeli city of Sderot in the Negev

The general direction of IDF military activity against Qassam rocket is the large Jabalya refugee camp between Beit Hanun and Gaza City." target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>

The the security forces attacked many lathes used to manufacture weapons to facilitate attacks against IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians.

IDF forces crossed Salah al-Din road ("the Tancher route") that connects Gaza City and the Erez crossing close to midnight Tuesday and continued several hundred meters westward. This is the first time in the IDF's month-long operations around the town of Beit Hanun that Operation Front Shield has advanced so far west.

The new positions being occupied are several hundred meters west of the previous ones. At this stage, the IDF does not know how long it will remain there.

Qassam-2 rockets have an estimated range of around 10 kilometers while in practice, the maximum launch range identified has been 9.5 km. The distance between the Tancher route and houses on Sderot's western flank is about 8.3 km.

By advancing its line of forward positions, the army hopes to push the Palestinians back to more distant launch sites, making it more difficult for them to fire accurately at Sderot. Up to now even Qassams launched at Sderot from a distance of 8 km have had an accuracy rate of only 30 percent in striking within city limits.

IDF steps up effort to push back Qassam launch line

What is a Qassam?

The IDF incursion to Beit Hanun caused an internal debate among Palestinians. There is also some hope that the suffering population of Beit Hanun will pressure the Palestinian Authority and terror organizations to stop the launches and an end to the rocket" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> A Palestinian boy, 15, was shot to death and five members of his family were wounded by Palestinian terrorists in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza End of July when they refused to allow the terrorists to launch a Kassam rocket at Israel from next to their home.
The IDF had the feeling that would lead to a change in Hamas' attitude, but it did not happen.

[edit on 4-8-2004 by Riwka]

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