Palestinians: IDF tanks backed by helicopters move into Gaza (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Amos Harel, Ha´aretz Correspondent , Ha´aretz Service and Agencies 12/01/02 02:16)
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An Israeli armoured column entered a Palestinian-ruled area of the
Gaza Strip on Saturday, wounding at least four locals and demolishing
the family homes of two militants, Palestinian hospital officials and
They said some 30 armoured vehicles including
tanks, backed by Apache
helicopters, had moved in on Beit Lahiya in the northern Strip under
cover of darkness, at least three of them taking up position near the
town´s administrative buildings.
Armed locals, many of them
rallied by calls from mosque loudspeakers,
were exchanging fire with the Israeli force, the witnesses said.
Israeli military sources confirmed an operation was under way.
were no immediate reports of casualties.
The troops also
blocked a main road linking Gaza City and northern
towns, security officials said. Witnesses said the tanks fired tank
shells at the town´s electricity transformers, knocking out power.
Earlier Saturday a 16-year-old Palestinian, Khatem Ajali, was
by IDF gunfire Saturday east of the Gaza City neighborhood of
Sajania, Israel Radio reported.
Witnesses said the group of
schoolchildren were walking 700 meters
near an IDF outpost at the Karni Crossing when soldiers fired at
them. Military sources said soldiers fired warning shots at the teens
when they neared a border fence, and were investigating the incident.
The army said it was checking the report.
arrested on Saturday a long-sought commander of a militant
group linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat after it
announced it mounted an attack on a polling booth that killed six
The arrest of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander Majid
the West Bank city of Nablus followed a renewed pledge by Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon to hunt down those responsible for attacks on
Israelis at home and abroad.
Two mortar shells were fired early
Saturday morning at two Israeli
settlements - one in the north and the other in the south. There were
Also in Gaza, Palestinians also opened fire on an
IDF outpost next to
the Gadid settlement in Gush Katif and on troops near Rafah, on the
Israel-Egypt border. Troops returned fire. There were no injuries.
On Friday, Israeli soldiers arrested a local leader of the Al
Martyrs´ Brigades during a sweep into the West Bank town of Nablus,
Palestinian sources said.
Majid Masri, 28, is the Al Aqsa
leader in the Rafidia neighborhood of
Nablus. Masri, who also used the name Abu Mojahed, was also a
spokesman for the group in the West Bank. Israeli troops stormed a
hideout where Masri was hiding during a sweep Friday night in Nablus,
an Al Aqsa activist said.
Masri has been on Israel´s wanted
list for a long time, and is
suspected of involvement in a long line of shooting attacks and
suicide bombings against Israeli targets.
detonate explosive device in Old City of Jerusalem
Police safely detonated an explosive device that had been found in
the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday. According to police estimates,
the device was targeting police officers who usually patrol the area.
80,000 worshippers attended prayer services in Jerusalem
last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
Also Friday, IDF
soldiers safely detonated an explosive device
adjacent to Baka al-Sharkiya. The device weighed twelve kilograms and
was attached to a gas container, Israel Radio reported.
kills Palestinian who infiltrated Gaza settlement
IDF troops killed a Palestinian gunman who infiltrated into the
hothouses between the Gaza Strip settlements of Bdolah and Atzmona on
Friday morning. A Kalashnikov rifle and several hand grenades were
found on his body.
Two Thai workers were wounded, one of them
seriously and the other
moderately, and an IDF soldier sustained light wounds in the attack.
The injured were taken to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.
Earlier Friday two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded in a
with Palestinian gunmen in the Yakinton outpost near the Gaza Strip
settlement of Neveh Dekalim. IAF helicopters participated in the gun
battle, and the gunmen fled to Khan Yunis.
The IDF imposed a
curfew on the West Bank city of Ramallah Friday
morning, the first curfew since the Ramadan holiday began.
in the West Bank, troops arrested eight wanted Palestinians.
IDF, Palestinians blame each other for death of toddler in
A 4-year-old Palestinian boy, Abbas Atras, was killed in the West
Bank city of Hebron Thursday, and Israeli and Palestinians officials
accused each other of responsibility.
Palestinian doctors at
Hebron´s Alia hospital said a bullet fired by
Israeli troops hit the child in the stomach as he stood near a window
in his house, killing him. The soldiers were enforcing a curfew.
IDF officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an
device was thrown at troops standing near a house, and fragments of
the bomb hit the child inside. The troops were not injured, they
Raghi Atras, the father, said he heard gunfire before he
saw his son
had been shot. "Abbas was at the window and we heard gunshots," Atras
said. "I heard him screaming and realized he was injured."
attack occurred in the hilltop neighborhood of Abu Sneineh,
overlooking concentrations of Jewish settlers who live in the city.
Palestinian gunmen have used the hilltop to fire on the Jewish
enclaves below, and the area now has a heavy military presence.
Israeli troops boosted their presence in the city earlier this
following a Nov. 15 attack that killed 12 members of Israeli security
forces. (© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 12/01/02)
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