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Victim of shooting attack in W. Bank: Yvgeny Reide

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Victim of shooting attack in W. Bank: Yvgeny Reider


An Israeli motorist was killed and another was lightly wounded when shots were fired at their car early Monday morning.

The two were driving through Baka a-Sharkiya

in the West Bank when gunmen opened fire.

Senior Central Command officers believe that between two to four gunmen were involved in the attack.

According to initial findings, they parked a car in one of the alleyways that overlooks the road that leads through Baka a-Sharkiya and waited for an Israeli vehicle.

When the two settlers from Hermesh drove by, the gunmen opened fire, hitting Yvgeny Reider, the driver, in the forehead. The teenager next to the him, Andy Zeidan, succeeded in taking control of the car and reached within 100 meters of the checkpoint when the car caught fire, apparently due to a bullet that hit the gas tank.

Soldiers at the checkpoint succeeded in extricating the two settlers from the car. An IDF doctor on the scene pronounced the driver dead, and the youth, 16, was taken to the Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera.

He was later taken to Tel Hashomer for further treatment of his shrapnel wounds.

Reider, 28, was a temporary resident in Hermesh and lived with his girlfriend, a resident of the settlement, for five years. The couple has an 18-month-old girl. His funeral is set for Tuesday in Bat Hefer.

Zeidin is the girlfriend's son.

Islamic Jihad terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the alleged desecration of the Koran at a prison in Israel, and Israel's continued pursuit of the group's members.

But Khadr Adnan, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in the West Bank, said the attack didn't signal the end of the group's cease-fire with Israel. "We are still committed to calm," he said.

The renewal of attacks by Palestinian terrorists poses a threat not only to Israel's security, but also to the revival of the peace process, President Moshe Katsav said in light of the attack.

Katsav expressed full confidence in the ability of Israeli security forces to deal with any upsurge in terrorist activity, and warned that if the Palestinian Authority did not clamp down on terrorists, the results could be a further derailment of the peace process.

"Terrorism is the Palestinians' greatest obstacle to peace," he said.

Brig.-Gen. Tal Russo said that Monday's incident, while grave, does not symbolize an escalation in violence in the area. The Islamic Jihad is constantly trying to launch attacks, not only inside the West Bank, but also in Israel, he said.

Russo recalled the recent operations over the weekend in which an Islamic Jihad bomb factory was uncovered by security forces, and a potential suicide bomber was arrested.

The terrorists are believed to have fled southward toward Tulkarm. A curfew was meanwhile placed on Baka a-Sharkiya where security forces continue to search for the perpetrators.

Russo said the wounded youth had been able to give security officials details of the gunmen, including a description of the car.

Benzi Lieberman, head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip responded to Monday's attack: "Today's attack is part of a continuous wave of terror created by the weakness portrayed by the government of Israel. The planned disengagement will bring the terror closer to Netanya, Hadera, and Afula," he warned.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom spoke to Army Radio following the attack, stressing that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas needed to put a stop altogether to the terror.

"The attempts of Abu Mazen [Abbas] to reach understandings with the extremist organizations were doomed to failure from the start," Shalom lamented.

He continued saying that a decision had to be made immediately as to whether Abbas intended to fulfill what has been demanded of him, or not. He said that it was obvious the terror organizations had taken advantage to the recent relative calm.

With AP


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Soldier killed, 2 wounded in shooting


Avi Karouchi, a 25-year-old reservist non-comissioned officer from Beersheba was killed and two other soldiers were wounded in a shooting attack along the Philadelphi route late Sunday morning.

Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the IDF's Girit post on the Philadelphi route. A short time later, the attack escalated with the firing of an anti-tank weapon on the soldiers and civilians working west of the post and on an IDF armored personnel carrier securing them, when three of the soldiers were wounded.

Karouchi died later in the hospital. He was laid to rest at the Beersheva Military Cemetary.

Soldiers returned fire, after which the Palestinian gunmen charged. In the charge, one of the gunmen was killed and another wounded. The IDF is investigating the possibility that a third gunman was involved.

The gunmen apparently came from Tel Sultan near Rafah. Islamic Jihad and the Abu Rish Brigades of the Fatah claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The IDF is investigating how the Palestinian gunmen reached the route, which is surrounded by the wall on the Rafah side and the Egyptian border fence on the other side.

The attack came after multiple attempts over the weekend by Palestinian terrorist organizations to mount a successful attack in advance of Condoleezza Rice's visit to the region. All were thwarted by the IDF.

In other incidents Sunday, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was arrested at the Hawara checkpoint with five pipe bombs.

Soldiers suspected the boy, who was carrying a large box. The checkpoint was closed, Palestinian civilians were distanced and Border Police sappers were called in.

A search of the box revealed five pipe bombs hidden in tubes of silicone alongside nails and bolts.

This was the twenty-first incident in the past three months and the thirtieth this year in which youths have been stopped at IDF checkpoints while attempting to smuggle ammunition and weapons to be used for terrorist attacks on civilians.


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Hundreds at funeral of Avi Karouchi


Hundreds of people attended the funeral of First Sergeant Avi Karouchi on Sunday evening at the military cemetery in his hometown of Beersheba.

Karouchi, 25, was killed and two other soldiers were wounded in a shooting attack along the Philadelphi route late Sunday morning.

Karouchi as other soldiers and civilian workers at the Philadelphi Route confronted danger daily, Col. Eitan Yitzhak, the Southern Command's chief engineering officer told The Jerusalem Post.

According to Yitzhak, two months ago, Karouchi agreed to sign up in the career army in order to assist in completing the construction work along the Philadelphi Route.

"As a civilian he was one of the best crane operators, and agreed to work along the route. For insurance purposes he had to join the career army. He was aware of the danger but insisted on doing the job," he said.

Karouchi was to have married his girlfriend in two months time, Yitzhak said. He is survived by his parents Shoshana and Meir, a brother and two sisters.

As relatives and friends gathered outside his parents' home, family members told reporters that when officers arrived to inform the parents, everyone feared it was Karouchi's younger brother Haviv who serves in the Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip.

Loved and well liked, they recalled that when Karouchi agreed to sign up to work in the Philadelphi Route, he joked with his mother that if something happened to him she would receive all his savings.


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