Southern Jerusalem evacuated as gun battles rage : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Southern Jerusalem evacuated as gun battles rage

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM Wednesday, November 1, 2000 JERUSALEM B Israeli authorities have evacuated the southern portion of Jerusalem amid pitched gun battles with Palestinian Authority gunmen.

Israeli police have ordered residents and motorists off the streets of the Gilo neighborhood, the target of Palestinian gunfire on Wednesday evening. Roads were sealed and residents were ordered indoors or to other areas of the city, Middle East Newsline reported.

Israeli and Palestinian forces fought gun battles for nearly three hours in the area. Israeli tanks fired at Palestinian positions in nearby Bet Jallah, where PA gunmen took cover in Christian homes.

South of Jerusalem, Israeli and Palestinian forces battled in the Bethlehem area near the Jewish settlement of Efrat.

Three wounded Israeli soldiers were killed in the West Bank, the military said, after intense Palestinian gunfire prevented their evacuation. They were the first Israeli soldiers to die in combat since Oct. 1.

Israeli helicopters and tanks fired into the Bethlehem suburb of El Khader to evacuate the wounded soldiers. PA sources said seven homes in the village were damaged by Israeli fire.

The Israeli security Cabinet meets in emergency session at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday [2:30 p.m. EST] amid a sharp disagreement among senior ministers over Israel's reaction. Government sources said most of the Cabinet has urged for restraint and a U.S. effort to renew peace talks. A handful of ministers are urging a strong Israeli response to end the Palestinian violence.

Wednesday, November 1, 2000

-- Martin Thompson (, November 02, 2000

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