Israel fears West Bank escalation 8Apr11 April 9, 2011

IMEMC -  8 April 2011

Israeli military leaders expressed fears that the current state of calm in the West Bank, induced by the tight security cooperation with the Palestinian Security Forces, could collapse at any given moment.

During a Thursday meeting with soldiers of the Etzion Brigade, Commander of the West Bank division of the Israeli Army, Nitzan Alon, said that the army estimates that the current state of “relative calm in the West bank will not last long”, and that Israel estimates that further escalation is a possibility.

Alon claimed that Palestinian factions in Gaza are seeking an escalation in the West Bank, and that the Israeli army is preparing for every possible scenario.

Israeli military sources stated that the recent period witnessed an increase in Palestinian attacks, and that Palestinian factions are likely planning to attack Israeli targets in the West Bank.

On Friday morning, the Israeli Army killed two fighters of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

At least three residents were wounded in the attack, and three more residents were wounded by Israeli artillery shells targeting an area east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Friday attacks were carried out despite a ceasefire declared by the Hamas movement in Gaza.

On Thursday, five Palestinians were killed and at least 39 were injured in a number of Israeli attacks targeting Gaza. One of the slain residents died as medics could not reach him due to the intensity of the Israeli bombardment in Rafah.


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