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Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Monday caught a female would-be suicide bomber at the entrance to the Erez border crossing in the northern the Gaza Strip. The woman, who was carrying 10 kg of explosives in her pants, had a permit to enter Israel to receive medical treatment. Following the incident the IDF closed the crossing for traffic, and reopened it a few hours later.

The incident came as the Head of the Military Intelligence Research Division, Brigadier General Yosef Kuperwasser, said earlier on Monday that the Palestinian Authority "excels at doing nothing in the fight against terrorism."

The would-be suicide bomber, 21-year-old Wafa Samir Ibrahim, resident of the Jebalia refugee camp was sent by the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, a military offshoot of the Fatah movement, to carry out a suicide bombing attack.

Ibrahim had been in the past to the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva to receive medical treatment for severe burns she sustained from a gas balloon that exploded next to her six months ago. She needed to reach the hospital for medical tests.

The woman said she did not plan on carrying out the attack at the Soroka hospital but in another hospital, not specifying its name.

Security personnel became suspicious of her at the entrance to the border crossing, and found the explosives in her pants during a body search. When Ibrahim realized she had been caught, she tried to detonate herself, but was unsuccessful.

Brigadier General Avi Levy, commander of the Gaza northern brigade told Israel Radio "terror organizations took advantage of her bad health and manipulated the woman into carrying the attack."

The officer said that she carried the explosives on her person believing that the respectful manner in which soldiers treat women during security checks would enable her to smuggle the belt successfully.

"Palestinians are trying to slip through every possible crack in the security belt, including humanitarian and everyday plight of the Palestinians in order to smuggle explosives into Israel," the officer said.

"There has been a very serious escalation in the number of incidents in the zone secured by the brigade, including mortar shelling, Qassam rockets and light arm fire. The [PA}, we can say, is not doing its part in preventing such incidents," Levy concluded.

PA is not doing enoughSpeaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Brigadier General Yosef Kuperwasser said that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not showing enough leadership, and will arrive at Tuesday's meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon out of a weaker standpoint in Palestinian society.

In view of the PA's inability to counter terrorism, there will be no progress in the political process, he told committee members.

The PA's most important achievement so far has been the considerable drop in arms smuggling from Egypt into the Gaza Strip using tunnels, Kuperwasser said.

Sharon, who also attended the committee's session, said that the disengagement plan will be fully implemented on its planned date.

When asked by Yahad MK Ran Cohen for his opinion on recent attempts by Likud party members to hamper the pullout, Sharon said "don't be surprised if you hear of more attempts and tricks from different directions. But rest assured, the disengagement will be fully implemented on its planned.?