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IDF Chief-Of-Staff Furious At Unnecessary Op.

[Sometime there is a definite feeling of deja vu about the news we report. Both today's Haaretz editorial and Danny Rubinstein's article reprinted below were scathing in their criticism of the IDF raid in Tulkarm that costed five Palestinian lives. Both intimated the timing was not a coincidence as you can read for yourself. There was also an implication was that a Palestinian retaliation/revenge was to be expected.

While, like everyone else, I was expecting such a terrorist attack - a suicide bombing directed against civilians - I was not expecting criticism of the Israeli operation to come from Israel's Chief-of-Staff. [It should be recalled that groups like Gush Shalom petition the Israeli High Court of Justice against his appointment in views of his callous indifference to innocent Palestinian casualties in the past.]

This was what Einyan Merkazi reported (Hebrew original at

* * * * * * * *

Chief-of-staff furious at unnecessary operation at Tulkarm

Halutz announces a change in operational procedures in the (Occupied) Territories as previous operation did not received the appropriate authorisation. Consequently there are fears of a revenge attack within the Green Line.

By an Einyan Merkazi reporter

The Chief-of-Staff, Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, has ordered a change of operational procedure relating to the arrest of terrorists in a way that will prevent a recurrence of the operation that took place last week in Tulkarm. Five Palestinians were killed in that operation including an innocent 14-year-old.

Lieutenant-General Halutz was furious when he heard about the operation. Both he an others are convinced that this was a most serious mishap. They contend that such an operation should not have been carried in the way it was so soon after the disengagement. Â Â

As we reported exclusively it was the Israeli force that opened fire. According to the Duvdevan [elite Israeli unit] troops they fired in the air and then the terrorists returned fire from the cae in which stayed in town.

The soldiers killed five Palestinians, including two youths age 14 and 15 at least one of whom was totally innocent and was not even sitting together with the others.

There was strong criticism of the operations. The Chief of Staff's view is that it should not have taken place without his prior authorisation.

Halutz instructed every Israeli unit to inform in advance of any operation in which either Palestinians or Israeli soldiers could be killed.

Einyan Merkazi has also found out that the motivation of the unit to act in the way that it acted are being investigated. At any rate it should not be possible anymore for anybody to be "so nonchalant in carrying out actions that do an enormous damage to the state of Israel," as our military sources put it. [Einyan Merkazi as reported in the past that unit commanders who happen to be either settlers or part of their political camp have taken it upon themselves to launch operations designed to provoke the Hamas into retaliating. The website is hinting that this was the case this time. - Translator]

Following the operation both Israel and the Palestinian authority were forced to do their outmost to calm down Palestinian feelings. They were particularly concerned to appease the Hamas operatives who were furious and threatened to carry out a major bombing within the Green Line.

It is still unclear whether the Hams has given up its intention to carry out such an attack.

* * * * * * * *

As we now know there was a Palestinian revenge attack. Fortunately the alertness of the bus driver meant that the level of casualties was comparatively low. - Sol Salbe]

[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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