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Posted: 10/7/2002 2:48:54 PM EDT
Many Armed Terrorists And 1-2 Civilians Killed In Gaza Fourteen Arabs - all of whom except for one or two were armed terrorists - were killed over the night in an Israeli offensive in Gaza. The IDF raid followed yet another Arab rocket attack on a Gush Katif community last night; no one was hurt in that incident. Despite IDF explanations that the forces fired at terrorists who were shooting at them, many media reports emphasized that the Israelis fired into "a crowd" and killed a woman and a child. The IDF says that the only civilian killed in the attack was the mother of one of the terrorists. Hamas vows to avenge the act, and says that Israeli civilians must be shot down in retaliation. MK Tzvi Hendel (National Union), a resident of Gush Katif, said afterwards: "Today's activity was designed to liquidate terrorists. All those who were killed today were armed and were attempting to thwart the IDF mission - except for one person, who was the mother of one of the terrorists, and she was killed while attempting to protect him. This offensive should silence all those who wish to run away from [i.e., dismantle communities in] Gush Katif, because it is the Jewish communities spread out over Gaza that enable the IDF to be there and carry out missions that protect all Israeli citizens from the murderous Palestinian terrorism. I can assure you that the mortar shells that will be fired at our communities in retaliation for this offensive will not deter us, and we will continue to remain here in order to continue protecting all the citizens of Israel." The IDF's anti-terror offensive began shortly after midnight, when IDF troops, armor, and engineering corps, backed by combat helicopters, entered a Khan Yunis neighborhood - a Hamas terrorist stronghold - near the Jewish community of Ganei Tal. The goal was the arrest of terrorists, but in the process, the forces discovered and blew up a small arsenal of mortar shells, and arrested a man carrying a bomb in his coat pocket. The Israelis were fired upon and were greeted with some explosions, but no one was hurt. At one point, around 4 AM, Hamas terrorists went out to the streets and began firing at the IDF forces near one of the mosques used for terrorist gatherings. A helicopter then fired a missile into the attacking mob. Arab "eye-witnesses" describe the incident as a "massacre," but fail to note that the mob was engaged in attacking Israelis when they were fired upon.
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