Level of alert to remain at highest through Monday

Closure around West Bank, Gaza still in effect; IDF captures 27 terror suspects.

By JOSH BRANNON
November 11, 2006 20:20
2 minute read.
Level of alert to remain at highest through Monday

border police check ID. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The current level of alert will remain in effect until at least Monday, Israel Police announced Friday, in light of the several dozen warnings currently standing of terror cells seeking to perpetrate an attack inside the country. According to the police, there are currently 80 general warnings of terror plots, a fourth of which are specific. The alert level was upped to 6 - its maximum - on Wednesday of last week following a botched artillery shelling in the Gaza Strip that left 19 Palestinian civilians dead. Leaders of the terrorist organizations, including exiled supreme leader of Hamas, Khaled Maashal, called for a renewal of suicide bombings inside of Israel proper. The alert level was lowered Friday afternoon following the largely uneventful Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, which authorities had feared would become violent following threats by the ultra-orthodox community in the capital to stop the march "at all costs." In light of the threats, the IDF declared a general closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend that remains in effect, military officials said. Friday prayers at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's Old City were restricted to prevent a flare up at the sacred site, the police said. Only men over 40 years of age were allowed to enter. Israeli Police and border policemen dispersed an unruly crowd of 200 Palestinian youths that had gathered in east Jerusalem and planned to march on the Temple Mount to protest the incident in Beit Hanoun. Later, a number of Palestinian youth burned tires at the entrance to a village in north of the city. The Violent disturbances were contained mostly to Hebron, where the IDF keeps a permanent presence guarding the West Bank city's Jewish neighborhood. On Friday, Palestinians rioted there, hurling cinder blocks, bottles, and in one instance, an explosive device at soldiers, the IDF said. The soldiers responded with gas and stun grenades. Troops identified and fired on a youth armed with a Molotov cocktail. No soldiers were wounded during the unrest and the condition of the youth was unknown, the army said. On the roads north of Hebron near the Gush Etzion bloc, unidentified assailants fired several rounds into an Israeli vehicle from, the army said. The car sustained damage, but the passengers escaped unharmed. IDF soldiers conducted searches in the vicinity of the attack, but no arrests were made. There was a marked lull in the number of Kassam rockets launched by terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip, with three landing in open spaces near western Negev communities on Friday. The army said that there had been no military action in the coastal strip. No one was wounded in the rocket attacks, but damage was caused to greenhouses in the area. IDF soldiers operating against the terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank captured 27 Palestinian fugitives, including nine men from Hamas, over the weekend, the army said. In searches, soldiers uncovered a Kalashnikov rifle, 5 magazines of ammunition containing 200 rounds, the IDF said. Shot were fired at soldiers in Tulkarm on Saturday, and Molotov cocktails were thrown at a patrol near Bethlehem, but no soldiers were injured in any of the weekend operations, the army said. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.


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