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November 29, 2002

Israeli Troops Blow Up 2 Gunmen's Homes

Shame there was not a family gathering going on while this took place. Note that tucked inside this link a poll indicating that a lot of Palestinians are getting tired of the Intifada and feel it is a deadend tactic.
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Israeli troops on Friday blew up the homes of two Palestinian gunmen who attacked an office of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud Party during a primary vote, killing six Israelis and wounding more than 20.

The gunmen, cousins from a West Bank village, were members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, two more gunmen dispatched by the militant Islamic Hamas movement opened fire Friday in the Jewish settlement of Dolah, wounding two Thai workers and an Israeli. One of the gunmen was killed.

The Palestinian Authority condemned Thursday's shooting rampage at the Likud branch office in the northern Israeli town of Beit Shean, and said Fatah was not involved in any way in the attack.

"Such operations do not serve the Palestinian people's cause," it said in a statement. "On the contrary, they harm our cause."

A poll published Thursday found that a majority of Palestinians want their security forces to crack down on militants attacking Israel -- a shift that coincides with unprecedented criticism from Arafat's deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, of two years of violence against Israel.

The two developments indicate that Palestinians are souring on their uprising, called "intefadeh" in Arabic, after the death of almost 2,000 Palestinians and 700 Israelis in clashes, military operations and terror attacks.

The poll, by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, indicated that Palestinians still strongly favor attacks against Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza -- lands claimed by the Palestinians for their own state -- but 56 percent favor steps by the Palestinian Authority to stop attacks in Israel.

As recently as May, a similar poll showed that 86 percent of Palestinians opposed arresting Palestinian militants involved in suicide bombings inside Israel.

The poll questioned 1,319 people in personal interviews from Nov. 14-22 and quoted a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

In Friday's house demolitions, Israeli troops entered the West Bank village of Jalboun before dawn and blew up the homes of the Beit Shean gunmen Omar and Yousef Abu Rub, both in their 20s, who were killed in Thursday's attack. Eighteen people were left homeless by the demolitions.