by News from Hebron - The Hebron Press Office
November 16, 2002
Saturday, November 16, 2002


Last night at 7:00 Arab terrorists attacked soldiers and security forces between Hebron and Kiryat Arba.  Twelve people were killed, including the commander of the Hebron brigade, Colonel Dror Weinberg and the director of security in Kiryat Arba.

According to security sources, the terror attack began shortly after evening prayers ended at Ma'arat HaMachpela - the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron.  Worshippers from Kiryat Arba had just finished the 10 minute walk up a steep hill leading from Hebron, when a terrorist opened fire, not hitting anyone.  According to one report, he was dressed as a Jew and had planned on trying to enter Kiryat Arba with them.  He was identified by Israeli security forces, shot, and killed.

At that point,three other terrorists began shooting from inside a house on the side road.  A border police jeep was attacked and
its occupants killed.  Shortly afterward, the commander of the Hebron Brigade, thirty eight year old Colonel Dror Weinberg
arrived at the scene.  While charging the terrorists he was also shot and killed.  Other security forces arriving at the area were also killed trying to reach the terrorists.

An emergency team of civilians arrived from Kiryat Arba and attempted to reach the soldiers.  At least sixteen people were wounded.  Four of those injured are reported to be in critical to very critical condition.

Two of the terrorists were killed at about 11:30 when the commander of the Nahal division in Hebron led a force into the house where they were hiding.  A third terrorist tried to escape, but was killed during hand-to-hand combat by the commander of the border police in Hebron.

A Hebron spokesman issued the following statement:  The handwriting was on the wall, plain, simple, and visable to all.  It is not polite to say "I told you so," but when dealing with people's lives, one cannot always be polite.

We warned the withdrawl of the IDF from Hebron would lead to continued terror.  We warned that the vacuum left by the IDF retreat would lead to inevitably to loss of life.  In the past three weeks, there were 11 terror attacks in and around Hebron.  Yet
no one listened.  No one cared.  Least of all, our former Defense Minister Binyamin ben Eliezer, who ordered the retreat from Hebron, not for security reasons, rather for political reasons.  Incredulously, he had to support the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who OK'd ben Eliezer's antics.  Their political games cost 12 people their lives last night.

We expect a different kind of response from the new Defense Minister Shaul Mufaz.  We expect Ariel Sharon to listen to him and implement new policys against Arafat-organized terror.

We demand:

l.  The Israeli army must move back into all of Hebron and Bethlehem and stay there, without any thought of ever leaving again.

2.  Dismantling of all Arab houses and buildings on the road between Hebron and Kiryat Arba, where the terrorists took cover
and perpetrated their attack.

3.  A true "Zionist response" to this massacre:  Construction of a new Hebron neighborhood, in between Hebron and Kiryat
Arba, at the site of the terror attack.
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