Communicated by the Israel Foreign Ministry, August 1, 2001.
Every nation has a duty to protect its citizens from threats to their lives. No
nation would agree to allow its citizens to live under the threat of daily terrorist
attack. Israel is no exception.
The oft-repeated charge that Israel has used excessive force against innocent
Palestinian civilians is a distortion of the truth. Israeli soldiers and civilians alike
have had to face dozens of organized, violent and life-threatening attacks by
Palestinians, only a small percentage of which have been reported in the media.
These attacks have included machine-gun fire directed at residential
neighborhoods, fire-bombings, roadside charges and ambushes, mortar
barrages, suicide bombers and car bombs in crowded shopping areas. As a
result of this violence more than one hundred Israelis have been killed and many
Under these difficult conditions, the IDF has acted
with the greatest possible restraint, taking care to target only those responsible
for the violence, and continues to do its utmost to prevent collateral civilian
injury and loss of life.
Israel has no interest in escalating the violence. On the contrary, Israel believes
it is imperative that the violence end so that both parties can return to
constructive negotiations. Israel maintains that a just and sustainable solution
can be found only through dialogue, not armed conflict.
However, as long as the violence exists, Israel has an indisputable
responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens.
The Israeli government regrets the loss of any life, whether Jewish or Arab, in
the present wave of violence. In the final analysis, however, responsibility for
these casualties lies with the Palestinian Authority, which has initiated this
violence and stubbornly refuses to bring it to an end.
Currently, Israel is engaged in a situation best defined as an armed conflict.
International law in general and the law of armed conflict in particular recognize
that individuals who directly take part in hostilities cannot claim immunity from
attack or protection as innocent civilians. Such individuals have, by their own
actions, by taking part in armed attacks against Israeli civilians or security
personnel, designated themselves as combatants in the conflict, and therefore
have forfeited such legal protection.
An individual who becomes a combatant is considered to remain a combatant
until such time as the hostilities come to an end and not merely during that
exact instant when the individual is instigating, carrying out, or organizing an
attack. They are therefore to be considered legitimate military targets both
when planning attacks, and after their attacks have been carried out.
The inaction of the Palestinian Authority in the face of widespread terrorism in
its areas, coupled with the PA’s tacit support for this violence, have left Israel
with no alternative but to take the necessary action itself to prevent continued
Therefore, Israel must undertake preventive, precisely-targeted
operations which would bring about a cessation of these clearly lethal threats.
Whenever possible, Israeli operations are directed toward arresting terrorists
and their accomplices. In recent months, over 1000 terrorists have been
arrested by the IDF and brought to justice.
In a small minority of cases, when arrests are impossible, and when an
clear, specific and imminent terrorist threat must be countered, Israel is forced
to carry out other types of preventative operations. All civilized nations would
act in a similar fashion.
Israel does not condone or take part in ‘assassinations’ or ‘extra-judicial
killings’. These terms are derived from spheres unrelated to armed conflict and
cannot properly be used to describe Israel’s counter-terrorist operations. Use of
these terms by Palestinian spokespeople is intended to portray Israel and its
actions in a pejorative light, and does not reflect the legal reality.
Israel only acts in a manner which is in compliance with the principles and
practice of armed conflict, and makes every effort to avoid involvement of
innocent civilians, taking action only in conditions where inaction by Israel
would result in additional loss of innocent lives.
IDF Strikes at Heads of Hamas Command in Samaria
Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson, August 1, 2001
In an IDF strike (31 July) in Nablus, the heads of the Hamas Command in the
area of Samaria and other prominent Hamas operatives were killed.
The strike was carried out as these operatives were busy working on future
Hamas terrorist operations. Their detailed plans included carrying out a series of
terrorist attacks in the heart of Israel.
The Hamas Command in Samaria has been responsible for a long series of lethal
terrorist attacks, in which 37 civilians were murdered and 376 were wounded.
Among these attacks was the suicide bombing of the Dolphinarium night club in
Tel Aviv, which killed 21 Israeli teenagers.
Under the guidance of the operatives who were killed, the Hamas movement in
Samaria demonstrated intense cruelty in its activities, concentrating their
terrorist attacks against Israeli children and youths.
It must be emphasized that recently the names of a number of the Hamas
operatives from the Samaria area were submitted to the Palestinian Authority,
to be arrested. Until this moment, the Palestinian Authority has yet to take any
action to prevent the planned terrorist attacks.
The IDF Spokesperson reiterates that the IDF will continue its precise strikes
against operatives who plan on carrying out outrageous terrorist attacks against
Israeli citizens and soldiers, attacks which totally contradict the commitment of
the Palestinians to fulfill the Tenet Document agreements.
Terrorist Attacks Carried out by the Hamas Command of Samaria
June 1, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge in the
Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv. Twenty-one killed (19 Israeli civilians, most
of them teenagers, and two Ukrainian tourists). 84 people were injured.
May 18, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge at the entrance
to the “Hasharon” shopping mall in Netanya. Five people were killed and 74
April 22, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge near a bus in
Kfar Saba. One civilian was killed and 47 people were injured (two of them
March 28, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge near a
gas-station at the Neveh Yamin junction. Two children were killed and four
March 27, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge near a bus at
the French Hill junction in Jerusalem. 12 people were injured.
March 4, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge on the corner
of Herzl and Shoham streets in Netanya.
March 1, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge in a taxicab at
the Mei Ami junction. A civilian was killed and 12 people were injured.
January 1, 2001: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge on the
corner of Herzl and Dizengoff streets in Netanya. 36 people were injured.
December 22, 2000: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge at the
Mehola junction. Three soldiers were injured.
November 22, 2000: A car bomb exploded on Hanassi St. in Hadera. Two
people were killed and 61 were injured.
Additional Background Information on Hamas Operatives
Born 1960, resident of Nablus.
Among the heads of the Hamas in the territories and directly responsible for the
Samaria regional command. Was imprisoned 11 times for his terrorist activity.
Among those who were excluded to Marj a-Zahur, Lebanon in 1992.
Filled a wide variety of positions in the Hamas, and was one of the leaders of
the organization’s current extremist agenda.
Actively incited in favor of increased Hamas armed operations against Israel,
virulently supported suicide actions and mass bombings, and called for killings
to be carried out throughout Israel.
Under his command, Hamas operatives in Samaria carried out the Hamas’s
operational plan to commit suicide bombings and other types of terrorist attacks
Mansour oversaw the implementation of the Hamas’ policy of terrorist attacks.
He provided guidance, chose the targets and methods, established the
necessary organizational infrastructure and dispatched the operatives to carry
out their lethal missions.
He organized mass rallies during which he publicly called for the increase
of attacks against Israel and rejected the idea of a negotiated settlement.
In his public statements he detailed his views extensively:
1) For example, in an interview for BBC radio on the January 9, 2001, Mansour
explained that the Hamas saw no wrong in the killing of civilians, on every
2) A few days ago, on July 25, 2001, in interviews for “Al-Jezira” television
and “Abu-Dhabi” television, he stated that despite the killing of many Hamas
operatives, “there are many who stand ready to take the place of the ‘martyrs’.
3) He also used the interviews to call on those who were hesitant to choose
“the path of resistance”.
Born 1958, resident of Nablus.
Among the leaders of the Hamas Command in the Samaria region and among its
commanders in the territories. Began his terrorist activities as early as the
1970’s. First arrested in April 1975 at the age of 17, and since then has been
unceasingly involved in terrorism.
In 1992 excluded to Marj a-Zahur, Lebanon along with leaders of the Hamas
and the Islamic Jihad in the territories.
He was one of the current Hamas policy-makers. Supported an increase in
terrorist activity against Israel and the increased use of suicide bombers. He
attacked the ‘fatwahs’ (Islamic religious rulings) which decried suicide
bombings and called for Muslims to ignore them.
His name appeared again and again on lists submitted by Israel to the PA
containing names of terrorists to be arrested. He disregarded the heads of the
PA security mechanisms and they were frightened of confronting him.
Promised in press interviews on July 25, 2001 (AP and Nablus Television) that
the Hamas movement would respond to the killing of Salah Darawza. Recently,
Dmouni and his associates devoted their time to planning attacks against Israel.
Likewise, Dmouni is known to the Israeli public for his promise to send to tens
of suicide bombers to Israel to sow death throughout the country.
In a Hamas rally which took place on April 24, 2001, in honor of the terrorist
who carried out the attack on Neve Yemin, Dmouni stated: “Hamas chooses
Intifada and militant operations. You the Israelis, it is your turn to weep for your
dead; we have prepared a hundred attacks who await their
turn … after the hundreds there will be thousands more”.
Jamal Dmouni declared more than once that “suicide operations are the
pinnacle of contribution and sacrifice” and viewed this declaration as a
guiding motto for all his activities.
Fahim Ibrahim Mustafa Dawabsheh
Born 1969, resident of Nablus, originally from Douma.
Worked in a Hamas office in Nablus, from which the Hamas declared its
responsibility for suicide bombings and which coordinated Hamas operations
with Hamas elements in Samaria.
Was wanted for several years due to his involvement in an attack. Was in close
contact with Hamas militant operatives and was one of the leaders of the
“Katala Islamiyya” movement.
As part of his activities he also aided militant operatives who organized
bombing attacks in Israel.
It was recently learned that he used to meet and instruct militant operatives,
including the suicide bomber Hamad Abu Hanleh, who carried out the suicide
bombing in Netanya on January 1, 2001.