israel calls up reserves - black plastic sheeting
RAMALLAH, West Bank-Israel summoned back-up soldiers Thursday to return troops to five towns in the West Bank in response to two deadly bombings that killed 26 Israelis in two days.
Yasser Arafat called on Palestinian militias to stop attacking Israeli civilians.
Palestinians say Israeli forces have arrested some 2,500 Palestinian men and boys in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, some 1,000 of whom were released Thursday.
The Israeli military is verifying these figures.
Earlier Wednesday, sweeping activities began in Palestinian militant hotbed towns.
At the same time, Israel divided over Prime Minister Sharon's decision to gradually occupy Palestinian areas and occupy them until the end of the terrorist attacks.
Defense Minister Ben-
The moderate Labor leader, Eliezer, said he strongly opposes the long term
Re-occupation of the Palestinian region. The back-to-
The back-to-back bombings in Jerusalem on Tuesday and Wednesday prompted President Bush to set aside Palestinian state-building rules, but he remains confident that peace in the Middle East can be achieved.
Bush has repeatedly asked Arafat to take more measures to prevent terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Israeli military sources say a Brigade-
About 1,200 soldiers-
Calls are being made to Israel to expand its campaign and to draft more troops in the future.
They will follow so-
Known as the Green Line, it is the unmarked border before Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East war.
All the Bombers have been from the West Bank in the past 21 months.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Arafat condemned the attack on Israeli civilians and said that "the shooting and explosion must be completely stopped ".
He warned that otherwise, the result could be "the full Israeli occupation of our land ".
"The statement was issued by the Palestinian state news agency Wafa on Thursday but was not broadcast on television, although his assistant initially said he would be on camera for wider coverage
The White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said the leader is waiting for Arafat's recent condemnation of terrorism to translate into action.
"The progress that the president is looking for is not verbal, but meaningful, and the president is waiting to see," Fleischer said . ".
Arafat's condemnation on Thursday was relatively moderate.
In a televised address on December, Arafat said that the killing and bombing of Israel and all other "terrorist activities" must be stopped ".
He promised to arrest the militants who insisted on launching the attack.
Thursday's statement did not use the word terror, and the Palestinians insisted that they could not carry out arrests during the Israeli siege.
Arafat said Thursday that Israel, through its military operations, "has stopped all our efforts to end the violence ".
Arafat did not say how he would control the militia.
Israel accused him of not taking any action to stop the attack or even encouraging it.
The Islamic militant group Hamas says it will not stop the explosion.
"If we have an effective weapon in our hands and the whole world is trying to take it away from us, this reaction shows that this is the most effective way, the spokesman for Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Abu sanab, said.
Hamas claimed responsibility Tuesday for an attack on a bus in Jerusalem that killed 19 Israelis, the worst in six years.
Sharon spoke at the annual gathering of three Jewish expatriates
Jerusalem's Zionist Congress says his visit to the site of Tuesday's bombing reveals the horrors the retired general has seen on the battlefield.
He said the terrorist attacks were not new to Israel, but "The difference is that this time, behind the vandalism and murder, it is the Palestinian Authority for terrorism with the support of the International axis of terrorism. -
Tehran, Damascus, Baghdad and (
Osama (Osama)Bin Laden.
An explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem Wednesday killed seven Israelis, including a 59-year-old. year-
The old grandmother and her 5-year-
The Arab television channel reported conflicting claims of responsibility, and it is unclear who was behind the explosion.
The bomb blew up the bus stop and left wide streets scattered with personal belongings and body parts.
Rescuers covered a overturned stroller with black plastic cloth.
Israel's response to the bombing was a series of incursions and sweeps against West Bank towns. -
Sharon announced that the Palestinian area would be taken over for longer in response to the attacks.
By Thursday, the army had taken control of Jenin and Qalqiliya, set up command posts in these towns and imposed a curfew.
After two days in Qalqiliya, the tank returned to the edge of the town.
The tanks also entered Tulkarem in the West Bank and the adjacent refugee camps.
Also on Thursday, the army entered Beitunia, a suburb of Ramallah, to search for suspects.
A military statement said soldiers would remain in the two locations before completing their mission targets.
Residents of Beitunia were asked to stay at home through the speakers.
Three armored personnel carriers, a tank and a military jeep were parked outside five vehicles.
This is one of the three positions occupied by the Israeli army.
The building residents looked out of the window.
Palestinian hospitals and security officials say a 27-year-old Palestinian pregnant woman, Sahar Hindi, was shot dead in the chest during an exchange of fire in Qalqiliya.
Israeli military officials say a woman was hit in the crossfire, but further details are unclear.
Israeli helicopters and warplanes attacked Palestinian buildings in the Gaza Strip, injuring 13 Palestinians.
Sharon has never publicly explained how far Israel is planning to reoccupy the Palestinian area ---
Whether the army will occupy the entire town or set up new positions in the suburbs of the population center.