1.There are some indications of a return to the negotiating table, at least on the security level. The General Commanders of both the Central and Southern Commanders have met with their colleagues on the Palestinian side. Hopefully these minor steps will yield increased communication and reduction in violent incidents.
2.Unfortunately, while on the one hand there are positive indications of peaceful negotiation, on the other there are still shots being fired at Israeli troops and civilians. Yesterday’s suicide bomber in Gaza portends future terrorist acts both within Israel and in the Territories.
3.The Intelligence establishment has received “hot warnings” about attempts to cause harm civilians and cause chaos in densely populated areas in Israel ever since the release of Hammas and Islamic Jihad activists from Palestinian Authority prisons.
Yesterday’s suicide bomber is proof that these warnings are substantive. The Israeli public has been put on alert.
4. As a result of relative quiet in the past day or two, the IDF has taken steps to re-deploy its forces and reduce areas of potential confrontations with Palestinians. For instance, several tanks were moved out of the “Netzarim” Junction area in the Gaza Strip; troops were moved in the Ariel zone; there is an intention to move the tanks out of Gilo (now that the Beit Jalla area has quieted). This is meant to signal that Israel prefers to talk rather than to do battle.
The IDF has no reason to maintain a tank in an area where there is no violence.
5. The IDF does not expect this uprising to be mere “weekend happening,” but rather a prolonged period of unrest. Consequently, the IDF is reassessing its needs and activities for the winter of 2001.
6. The Brig. Gen. reassured the press that the army’s policy of openness with the media in response to events in the field would continue.
7. The road connecting the northern and southern portions of the Gaza Strip is currently closed because of yesterday’s suicide bombing. The road will be reopened as soon as the army will deem the area safe and secure.
8. The IDF estimates that over 100 Palestinians have been killed in the uprisings. A more precise estimate is difficult because the Palestinians have been counting car accidents deaths as victims of the uprising.
9. There has been no known activity of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces to curb Hammas activities. The IDF expects terrorist acts both within Israel and in the Territories.
10. The Brig. Gen. could not comment on any specific warnings given to the PA in the event of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. Historically, however, these attacks have led to reprisals from Israeli security forces. Indeed, the terrorists perpetrate attacks in order to close any potential openings for peaceful negotiation.
11. In response to a question regarding the increased percentage of live fire injuries on the Palestinian side, the Brig. Gen., commented that this might be explained by the fact that in recent days, while stone throwing has decreased, the use of live fire by Palestinians has increased. IDF soldiers are under strict orders to shoot live ammunition only if their lives are clearly in danger. The moment that direct threats to soldiers’ lives will crease, live fire will not be used.
12. Rubber bullets are not considered live ammunition.
13. The IDF has been using sniper fire as part of its policy to shoot only at people who shot at soldiers or threatened their lives in some other way (e.g., Molotov cocktail or pipe bomb).
14. Generally the IDF’s policy is not to shoot people at all, particularly children. Regrettably, children are hurt because they participate in violent demonstrations against Israeli targets or serve as cover for Palestinian gunmen. This reflects the PA’s cynical (and sinister) use of children in order to achieve its aims. If the children were in school , as they should be, they would never be hurt (“now Eskimos die in Nezarim because there are no Eskimos in Nezarim” Maj. Gen. Yom-Tov Samia).
15. The Palestinians have in their positions illegal weapons, including heavy machine guns (such as ones used in the attacks against the Gilo neighbourhood), some personal anti-tank missiles, and possibly some personal anti-aircraft missiles. They have obtained these weapons in one of the three ways;
a. From caches that pre-date the Oslo accords;
b. Smuggling across Egyptian or Jordanian borders;
c. Criminal elements within Israel.
16. Mount Hermon and mount Dov are closed to civilian traffic because of warnings that Lebanese border might “come to life” once again. These warnings come from intelligence sources, the kidnapping of three IDF soldiers by Hizbollah, and recent behavior by the civilian population along the border. There is a suspicion that a Hizbollah attack will take place in the near future, with or without coordination with the PA or other Palestinian elements.
17. The Brig. Gen. could only confirm that one perpetrator of the Ramallah lynching was arrested by Israeli security forces. The reason that this announcement is made now is that there is no more security obstacles preventing its release.