'West Bank,' Jerusalem erupt in violence

Sunday, March 02, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria - the so-called West Bank - responded to weekend reports of Israel's military incursion into the Gaza Strip in retaliation for escalating terrorist rocket fire by attacking Israeli soldiers and Jewish civilians.

In one of the more serious incidents, Arab gunmen operating out of the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jala opened fire Saturday night on the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Attacks on Gilo were common up until a couple of years ago when Israel launched crushing raids into Bethlehem and surrounding communities.

Palestinian snipers taking cover in the de facto Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah also opened fire Saturday night on the Jewish community of Psagot, which lies just minutes from northern Jerusalem.

Earlier on Saturday, Palestinian assailants in Hebron hurled firebombs at Israeli soldiers.

The violence intensified on Sunday, spreading to the Arab-dominated neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

Two Israeli police officers were wounded in separate incidents as Arab youth attacked them with stones and glass bottles across the eastern side of the Israeli capital.

Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service was put on heightened alert in the Jerusalem vicinity fearing a further escalation of violence in the city.

Further north near the Samarian town of Nablus, an Israeli motorist was wounded and numerous Israeli vehicles were damaged as Arabs hurled stones at a local highway.

A similar stone-throwing attack back in Hebron also left one Israeli wounded and a number of cars damaged.

In related news, Israeli police officials announced late Thursday the recent arrest of a 17-year-old Palestinian Arab girl who planned to carry out a suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem on behalf of the Islamic Jihad terror group.

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