Beat death in Gaza (NY DAILYNEWS) By MAKI BECKER 12/02/02)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
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Quick-thinking Palestinian terrorists escaped certain death yesterday
when they leaped from their car moments before two Israeli
helicopters pounded the vehicle with missiles.
The Islamic Jihad militants - including Mukaled Hamid, one of the
group´s field commanders - spotted the two U.S.-made Apaches overhead
and jumped just before the missiles reduced their car to a twisted
heap of smoldering metal.
"Suddenly, I saw a Mercedes driving fast down the road and it was hit
by flames coming from the sky," said Amina Daalasa, 55, who witnessed
the failed assassination attempt on a road just outside Gaza City.
One of the Islamic Jihad members was lightly wounded, and three
bystanders also were hurt in the helicopter attack.
Attack followed incursion
Israeli officials did not comment on the operation but the military
has participated in dozens of similar targeted attacks - a practice
that Palestinians and some human rights organizations condemn.
Just hours earlier, Israeli military forces conducted an overnight
incursion into a Gaza Strip town about 5 miles from the scene of the
Two Palestinians, including a 70-year-old man, died during the three-
hour siege in the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya. Thirty tanks rolled into
the town, and troops fought running gun battles with Palestinian
The Israeli Army knocked out the town´s power transformer and blew up
the homes of three militants, including the residence of an Islamic
Jihad suicide bomber who killed 20 Israelis in a March 1996 attack in
Tel Aviv. The other two were the homes of members of Hamas.
The body of the 70-year-old man was found in the rubble of one of the
His neighbors speculated he had not heard the Israelis´ call over
loudspeakers to evacuate before bulldozers razed the buildings.
"We do everything to make sure that the houses are empty of people
and we take several steps within the building to make sure there is
no one inside," said Israeli Army spokesman Capt. Jacob Dallal.
Israel has made it a practice to destroy the family homes of suicide
bombers and other terrorists in an effort to deter future attackers.
A 32-year-old Palestinian man also was shot dead during the incursion.
With News Wire Services (© 2002 Daily News, L.P. 12/02/02)
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