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Exclusive: Lifting curfews leads to terror attacks

Most of the major terror attacks on Israeli civilians have taken place within hours or days of curfews being lifted on Palestinian towns and cities, The Media Line has learned. 

An investigation shows that when the Israel Defense Forces relaxed its presence in Palestinian areas, the terrorists used the opportunity to slip out and head for their Israeli targets. 

Among the infamous examples are suicide bombings at the Meron Junction in northern Israel, in which nine people were killed, an attack at Karkur Junction, which led to deaths of 14, and the bus bombing at Jerusalem’s Pat Junction, in which 19 civilians lost their lives. Dozens were injured in these and other attacks. (See the details of these and other incidents in the box below.) 

“There is a direct correlation between the lifting of curfews from Palestinian cities and suicide attacks emanating from those cities,” the IDF Spokesperson told The Media Line. “The presence of IDF forces in a Palestinian city, imposing curfews and counter- terrorist activity all prevent the exit of suicide bombers and terrorists from that city.”

International human-rights organizations polled by The Media Line said they could not comment on the specific evidence. 

“Without referring to the data found in the research, B’Tselem stresses that even if IDF policies were effective, it would not affect their legality,” according to B’tselem, the Israeli human rights organization’s spokesman Lior
Yavne. “The extensive use of curfews by the IDF is illegal in itself since it constitutes collective punishment of hundreds of thousands of civilians, who are not involved in attacks against Israelis. The IDF has the duty to protect Israeli civilians, but must do so in the limits outlined by International Law.”

Another organization also said it could neither agree nor disagree with The Media Line’s findings. 
“I can neither confirm nor deny,” said Human Rights Watch Middle East Division Director Joe Stork. “It’s something we’ve not looked into”.

Date Incident Time of lifting curfew Name of terrorist
18/6/2002Suicide attack at Pat Junction in Jerusalem- 19 civilians killed, 15 injured. On June 20th a paratrooper unit went into the town of
Nablus. Beforehand, there were no IDF forces in the city and no curfews were imposed. 
19/6/2002 Suicide attack in French Hill in North Jerusalem- 7 civilians killed, 37 injured. 

On June 20th a paratrooper unit went into the town of
Nablus. Beforehand, there were no IDF forces in the city and no curfews were imposed.
Awada, Fatah activist. Came out of Nablus.

17/7/2002 Suicide attack in Neveh Sha’anan in Tel Aviv- 3 civilians killed, 2 foreign workers killed and 34 injured. 

Between the 12th and 17th of July a curfew was imposed on the city of
Nablus. The curfew was lifted during this time for one day- the 14th of July, between 9:00 and 15:00. 
Muhammad ‘Attalla and Naji
Ibrahim, Fatah activists. Came out of Nablus. 

4/8/2002 Suicide attack at Meron Junction- 9 killed, 55 injured.

Between the 1st and 8th of August the curfew on Jenin was lifted daily between the hours of 
8:00 and 19:00. 
Hamed, Hamas activist. Came out of Jenin.
10/10/2002 Suicide attack in Givat
Shmuel. A female civilian killed and 32 injured. 

Between the 5th and the 8th of October the curfew over the town of Qalqilya was lifted. The curfew was imposed between the 9th and the 11th of October.  Rafiq
Hamed, Hamas activist. Came out of Qalqilya, lived in Habla. 

21/10/2002 Suicide attack at Karkur junction- 14 killed and 35 injured. 

Between the 14th and the 20th of October a curfew was imposed on the town of
Jenin. This curfew was lifted on the 17th of October between 5:00 and 14:00. 
Al-Ismar and Ashraf Al- Usmar, Palestinian Islamic Jihad activists. Came out of

27/10/2002 Suicide attack at a gas station in Ariel- 3 soldiers killed and 17 injured.

Between the 20th and the 27th of October the curfew imposed on Nablus was lifted daily between 6:00 and 18:00.  Muhammad Kuzid Faysal
Bustami- Hamas activist. Came out of Nablus. 

29/10/2002 A suicide terrorist penetrated the village of
Hermesh- 3 people killed and 3 injured. 

Between the 23rd and the 29th of October a curfew was imposed on
Tulkarm. On the 25th of October, the curfew was lifted between 6:00 and 14:00 and also on the 29th between 8:00 and 16:00. 
Tarek Farid
Safaka, a Fatah activist. Came out of Tulkarm.

4/11/2002 Suicide attack at the Arim Mall in Kfar Saba- 2 killed and 22 injured.

Between the 29th of October and the 4th of November the curfew imposed on Nablus was lifted daily from 6:00 till 18:00, apart from the 3rd of November, when the curfew was not lifted at all. Haled
Sawalha, a Fatah activist. Came out of Nablus.

10/11/2002 A terrorist penetrated Kibbutz
Metzer- 5 civilians killed.

Between the 4th and 7th of November the curfew on Tulkarm was lifted. It was lifted on the 7th of November at 5:00 until the 8th at 7:30. The curfew was then imposed again and was not lifted until after the terrorist attack. Sirhan
Sirhan, a Fatah activist. Came out of Tulkarm.