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Use of Explosives in Jerusalem May Signal Escalation of Uprising

The use of firearms, gasoline bombs and other explosives has escalated as the intifada continues in the administered territories and Jerusalem.

Israeli sources say the reason is the perceived “stalemate in the political process” and encouragement derived from the “successful attack” on an Israeli tour bus in Egypt on Feb. 4, in which nine Israelis and two Egyptians died and 18 Israelis were injured.

Seven Israeli cars were set on fire by gasoline bombs in Jerusalem over the weekend. No one was hurt, but damage was done.

Moshe Mihli, the 34-year-old security officer at the West Bank settlement of Kedar, east of Jerusalem, was injured Friday by an explosive charge while inspecting a water pipe leading to the community.

He suffered wounds to his face and underwent eye surgery at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Military sources in the Gaza Strip said they were prepared for the greater use of firearms and explosive charges.

They said the various local terrorist groups, once without arms or ammunition, now possess substantial arsenals of hand grenades, homemade bombs and rifles either lost or stolen from the Israel Defense Force.

Israeli vehicles move around the Gaza Strip only in pairs, in fear of attacks.

“It is difficult to know nowadays where the grenade or petrol bomb will come from,” a military source said.

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