Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 5) by Itamar Eichner, Roni Shaked et al. — The unilateral cease-fire declared by Israel will last another few days, despite the continued violent acts by the Palestinians. This was decided yesterday by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
IDF sources contended yesterday: “The cease-fire has not led to any reduction in Palestinian attacks. We are restraining ourselves in the meantime from firing back.”
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres also said that “Arafat has not given any order to halt the fire.”
Sources in Sharon’s bureau said last night: “We are giving the Americans a chance to try and make a move. We have to wait a few days, until we see for sure if Arafat is picking up the gauntlet.” Nevertheless, political sources said that if there were to be escalation, “we will consider stopping the cease-fire before the American move is made.” It has been learned that the American administration has asked Jordan and Egypt to use their influence on Arafat to accede to the initiative.
Violence continued yesterday in the territories as well as inside Israel. Shots were fired at the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem last night. The tunnel road was closed to traffic and the IDF returned fire. The police believe that the shots two days ago on the Malha neighborhood have opened a new front. “If the shooting is reaching Malha, there is a also a danger of other neighborhoods being shot at,” Jerusalem commander Mickey Levy said.
There was a shooting attack yesterday in the fields of Kibbutz Givat Oz near Megiddo. Two kibbutzniks driving along the seamline in the kibbutz fields were shot at from close range, but not hurt.
A truck driver from the village of Jatt in the Triangle was abducted yesterday by Palestinians from the village of Yaabed in Samaria and released when they realized he was an Arab. “Two masked men armed with guns got into the truck and ordered him to drive fast in the direction of the territories,” related Dep. Cmdr. Yaki Azulai, commander of the Yiron police. “Only when he showed them his driver’s license and told them he was an Arab, did they change their plans and bring him back into Israeli territory.”
Fighting continued in the Gaza Strip. Two mortar shells were fired in the morning at the Netzarim settlement. No one was injured and no damage was caused. In the wake of this, an IDF force went into Area A to a depth of 200 meters near Netzarim. IDF sources said yesterday that the incursion into Area A lasted “about ten minutes.”
This article ran in Yediot Aharonot, May 25th, 2001