- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2002

DEHEISEH CAMP, West Bank — Israel announced a program of "continuous military pressure" last night after bloody Palestinian onslaughts against children, women, civilians and soldiers left 21 persons dead in 24 hours of mayhem.
In the latest attack, a lone sniper opened fire yesterday on a checkpoint in the West Bank, killing seven soldiers and three Israeli settlers before fleeing.
Nine Israelis, including an infant and four children, were killed in a suicide attack the day before. Two more Israelis were killed in separate incidents, and many of the injured remained in serious condition.
Israeli forces retaliated last night by attacking Palestinian police and security installations in the West Bank, one of them just a few hundred yards from the office of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. At least four Palestinians were killed.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharons emergency Cabinet announced after [JUMP]a meeting last night that it had approved a plan to "put continuous military pressure on the Palestinian Authority and terrorist organizations."
Just hours after the meeting, Israeli army forces entered the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip and destroyed dwellings there, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said. The camp has been a haven for Palestinian militants.The witnesses said that 14 Israeli tanks and a bulldozer were used during the incursion, and that Israeli soldiers opened fire, killing three Palestinians during the four-hour incursion.
Mr. Sharon, who has come under increasing criticism for failing to halt the violence, reportedly urged the Cabinet to place Mr. Arafat once again under virtual house arrest and gave new details on the "buffer zones" he wishes to put in place in the West Bank and Gaza to keep Palestinian terrorists from Israels population centers.
Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Israeli defense forces had made a major statement in striking camps that are considered out of bounds even for Palestinian Authority police.
"We proved that we are not deterred from entering any focal point of terror," Mr. Ben-Eliezer said.
The army said the sniper responsible for yesterdays killings began firing from a hill overlooking a checkpoint near the Jewish settlement of Ofra, picking off reinforcements as they rushed in to assist.
Israeli television said soldiers at first mistook the source of the fire and shot back in the wrong direction. A decrepit old carbine rifle was later recovered from the scene of the shooting.
The two-day orgy of bloodshed prompted scenes of jubilation — along with trepidation — in the densely populated refugee camps in the West Bank from which both attackers came.Thousands of people chanted, waved flags and fired guns into the air in triumph.
Al-Fatah, the largest Palestinian movement controlled by Mr. Arafat, issued pamphlets in the Deheisha camp bearing a gun-toting photograph of Mohammed Daraghmeh, Saturdays 18-year-old suicide bomber, declaring that it was "glad to announce successful actions … of the hero and colossal martyr."
"I will take my soul in my hand and toss it into the abyss of death," the pamphlet declared, quoting the first line of the famous "Martyrs Poem."
Al Fatah also released a videotape in which Daraghmeh explained he would die to avenge Israeli actions last week against suspected terrorist and bomb-making facilities inside two other refugee camps. Those attacks left 23 dead, mostly Fatah fighters.
The older brother of Daraghmeh, whose victims included a baby and four children in a Jerusalem residential district, called last night for an unrelenting campaign of bombings and attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Ala Daraghmeh, 22, said there could be "peace" with Israel but only after it yields to Palestinian territorial demands.
"Martyrdom for us is honor and glory," he said as he and his extended family sat on white plastic chairs lining both sides of a hilltop street, receiving condolences and congratulations.
A banner stretched across the alley saluted the "hero martyr," while neighboring children brought out cakes.
"I feel sad because Ive lost my beloved brother," said Mr. Daraghmeh. "But it was for my brother alone to decide his fate. My brother was cheerful and liked this world more than you and me. He never stopped smiling."
In the first stages of the Palestinian uprising only the Islamic radical movements launched suicide attacks, but in recent months Fatah units have adopted the practice and even allowed two young women to martyr themselves.
Fatah and Hamas have also announced they have conducted joint killing operations.Mr. Daraghmeh said the killing of civilians was justified because, "On our side babies are [also] getting killed every day." But he said peace was "a most important thing."In Jerusalem, Orthodox Jews milled around sidewalks pockmarked with shrapnel from the bomb detonated by Mohammed Daraghmeh.
All blood and body parts had been painstakingly washed away. Some bystanders lit candles, while others intoned psalms and prayers. Satchel-bearing children skipped home from schools.Youths from one Hassidic sect started throwing rocks at three Arabs working in back of a garbage truck. The three men jumped off and ran away. Another Arab construction worker ran to safety on a rooftop.
Locals swiftly condemned the youths, but maintained that feelings were inflamed because residents suspected that Arab workers could have been providing information to terrorists.

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