Cameraman Killed by Sniper in Israel;
Secret Tunnel to Egypt Destroyed

19 year old cameraman with the Israel Defense Forces, Cpl. Lior Ziv, was killed early Sunday and three other soldiers were wounded during an operation to destroy a Hamas smuggling tunnel in Rafah. Ziv, a still photographer from the IDF Spokesman’s Office, was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper as he was filming the tunnels the army had discovered and destroyed.

A video photographer with the IDF was working alongside Ziv when he was killed, Durel Gillerman was wounded during the Palestinian sniper attack. Two medics who rushed to save them were also fired at and wounded, one was seriously hurt. The wounded were quickly evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

The IDF operation began late Saturday night when Givati brigade infantrymen and engineers in armored vehicles entered the Sabora neighborhood of Rafah in an attempt to find and destroy tunnels used for smuggling weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Soldiers were met by unusually stiff resistance, including light weapons, anti-tank grenades, hand grenades, and home-made bombs. Soldiers uncovered and blew up a large tunnel – 30 meters deep, 300 meters long and 60 centimeters wide – used by Hamas for its terror activities.

Five Palestinian terrorists were killed and 30 others were wounded in the operation. Stopping illegal arms from coming into Israel from Egypt may have saved countless lives, but Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat sounds more like Iraq’s infamous former Information Minister, Mohammed al-Sahhaf, telling Reuters: "The Israeli attack and escalation is aimed at one thing: sabotaging the road map and the peace process."

Hamas terrorists launched an assault on Israeli communities soon after the operation. Two Qassam rockets were fired at the southern Israeli town of Sderot, slightly wounding an Israeli woman who suffered from smoke inhalation after the rocket started a fire in her apartment. A number of mortars were also fired at Gush Katif communities, causing no casualties. Two mortar shells were fired Monday afternoon at IDF forces at the Sufa crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, causing no injuries or damage.

Fighting terror in the West Bank Monday, security forces operating in Nablus, arrested a Palestinian woman suspected of planning a suicide attack inside Israel. The woman, who is in her mid-twenties and was identified as Feyroz Ahmed Mahmoud Makhil, was arrested in the city’s Balata refugee camp. Another wanted Fatah terrorist was arrested during the raid. In the Ramallah area, forces arrested three Palestinian men wanted for questioning.

According to ISRAEL RADIO, security forces across the country were still on high alert Monday – the fourth day of the Passover holiday – as the number of specific terror warnings remained unchanged. In Hebron, the IDF imposed a curfew on the Palestinian neighborhoods adjacent to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of Jewish pilgrims during the Passover holiday. Security has also been beefed up in Eastern Jerusalem, where thousands were to mark the holiday.

Sources from the New York Israeli Consulate contributed to this story