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A new turning point Sunday, August 26, 2001
This morning at about 5:00 AM, Sunday, a huge explosion rocked the city of Gaza. As most people were asleep, the sudden big explosion woke the people up violently in their beds. It was an F16 plane firing a missile at a police station in the heart of the city. The jet fighters leveled down a whole building consisting of several stories.
The damage was also immense on nearby building were glasses flown in every direction. Across the street, the windows of Azhar University buildings were blown up as well.
I woke up wondering what a huge sound that was. To my surprise, residents were already outside looking at the sky tracing F16s planes flying over our heads. The jets were flying low. And they were very noisy. Sounds of explosion could be heard hitting the next town of Deir Al Balah. The jets fired missiles at this town, which is, located about 15 KM south of Gaza City.
Saturday, Aug. 25th. was a bad day for Israel, especially from stand of military morale. In the early morning hours of Saturday, at 3:00 AM, three Palestinian commandos were able to penetrate a formidable military bunker. The three young fighters from Khan Younis and Rafah attacked the military outpost, which is located in the south of Gaza City at about 25 KM, between Khan Younis and Rafah. Those two places have been the hottest beds of resistance throughout the Intifadah mainly due to the existence of Israeli settlements. The three Palestinians succeeded to infiltrate wires, cement blocks, tanks and machine guns on the top and to get inside the bunker. From inside, there were reports of fighting from a very close range even hand to hand combat. Three Israeli soldiers were immediately killed and several others injured. One Palestinian was shot dead inside the bunker. The second fighter was injured and later discovered inside a green house belonging to the settlement. He was killed. The third Palestinian was able to escape. The whole operation can not be more of a blow of damage and humiliation to the Israeli Army.
Since the Intifadah began back in Sep. 2000, the settlements have been the scene of military friction and a source of instigating violence against the civilian population of Gaza Strip. The Israeli settlements claim few thousands of illegal settlers living in the mist of 1.2 million Palestinians. The settlers occupy 40% of the total land of the Gaza Strip. They also built their settlements on top of the biggest water resource area inside the Gaza Strip.
Yesterday's attack at the military outpost marks a new begining of popular warfare inside the occupied territories. The Israeli army was extremely alarmed at the degree of courage and accuracy of the Palestinian fighters who dared to take on the bunker. What shocked the Army officials how those fighters could inflict so much damage and humiliation on the supposedly invisible army.
That's why Israeli response was so quick and violent using F16s against civilian population while asleep. The tactic, which the Palestinian fighters used, was similar to those of Hizbullah during their fight of cleaning up south Lebanon from Israeli occupation. This one is without anydoubt a turning point in the course of events of the current intifadah. Never such tactic was used before. It is new and very Hizbullah like in character. Israel is extremely alarmed by the new Palestinian resistance approach. It is a new reality that reminds them of their aggression-entanglement in South Lebanon. It is a memory that haunts an army of more compelling and testing days to come.
Aug. 26th. 2001
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