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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 19, 2002

Palestinian security accused of arming terrorists

.Wow! This comes as a surprise. Not.
Palestinian security forces were accused of supplying arms to militant groups to attack Israelis, after anti-tank missiles, grenades, a bomb laboratory and a weapons workshop were found in a raid on a security compound in Gaza.

After yesterday’s three-hour overnight raid left the compound in ruins, Palestinians denied the claim by the Israeli army, saying the base was evacuated a year ago and had stood empty since.

Israeli forces struck again last night, with helicopters and tanks targeting a building in a sparsely-populated part of Gaza City. Witnesses and security officials said helicopters and tanks fired at the area. There was no word of casualties.

The raids came as Israel’s dovish Labour Party, trailing badly in polls ahead of a January 28 general election, prepared to vote tomorrow to choose a leader. The party has lost considerable support in the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks it pioneered and two years of bloody violence.

Also yesterday, an Israeli woman was shot dead by a Palestinian gunman near the West Bank settlement of Rimmonim, north east of Jerusalem.

In the Gaza raid, Israeli helicopters and tanks fired on the Palestinian Preventive Security force complex for the first time in the current conflict, demolishing several of the 11 buildings in the compound. No serious injuries were reported.

Troops moved in and found dozens of mortar shells and grenades, three rocket propelled grenades, several anti-tank missiles and a Palestinian-manufactured Qassam missile in the complex, along with welding equipment and intelligence materials, said a senior Israeli officer in Gaza, Brig Gen Israel Ziv.

Defence minister Shaul Mofaz said the raid showed the ”tight connection between the security forces of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian terror groups”.