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IDF troops kill nine Palestinians in W. Bank and Gaza; five soldiers wounded (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Amos Harel and Arnon Regular, Ha´aretz Correspondents, and Ha´aretz Service 12/26/02 17:44)Source: http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=245420&contrassID=1&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=0 HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
At least nine Palestinians were killed by IDF troops in several incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday, while five soldiers were wounded.

Nablus: Two Tanzim activists killed in exchange of gunfire

At least two Palestinians were killed in several violent clashes in Nablus Thursday. Two Tanzim activists were killed in the morning in an exchange of gunfire with IDF soldiers. Palestinian sources said one of the Tanzim activists was 16 years old; the IDF said he used a pistol to fire at soldiers from the roof of a house, and was killed after he entered the house and armed himself with a rifle.

Afterwards, Old City residents left their homes to protest the curfew the soldiers were trying to enforce. The IDF fired on the curfew- breakers, and Palestinian sources said an unarmed youth was killed and dozens of Palestinians were wounded, some seriously. But the IDF said soldiers fired only at one armed protester and two protesters throwing firebombs.

Tul Karm: Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade activist killed

In Tul Karm, undercover Border Police troops killed Jamal Yehi, 28, head of one of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade´s cells in the West Bank city. The soldiers arrested him in the road Thursday morning and fired at the unarmed militant. The IDF said a military doctor tried to resuscitate Yehi, but he died of his wounds.

Ramallah: Hamas, Tanzim activists and 19-year-old bystander killed Undercover security forces killed three Palestinians in Ramallah - Tanzim activist Fanal Shilani, Hamas activist Bassam al-Askar and bystander Mahadi Obayad.

Soldiers tried to stop a vehicle in which two Hamas members, al-Askar and Ayamin Rahidi, were traveling. The IDF reported that al-Askar was killed when he tried to draw his gun.

Rashidi gave himself up to the soldiers, after which Ramallah residents began throwing stones at them. The soldiers fired at the crowd, and Palestinian sources said Obayad, a 19-year-old traffic cop who was standing nearby, was killed from the gunfire.

Palestinian sources reported that late Thursday afternoon the IDF imposed a curfew on the West Bank town of Beitunia, near Ramallah, and that 30 tanks entered the town.

Qabatiyah: Islamic Jihad head killed; five soldiers wounded

In Qabatiyah, the head of the militant Islamic Jihad organization in the West Bank town was killed early Thursday morning in an exchange of gunfire with IDF troops. Hamsa abu Roub, 35, opened fire on the soldiers as they attempted to arrest him in Qabatiyah, which is near Jenin.

A neighbor said that after a gun battle with Abu Roub, soldiers tossed grenades into the house, wounding him. The man said troops then rushed in, shot Abu Roub dead just inside the main entrance and pulled his body outside.

The army said troops called on people inside the house to surrender, telling them they would not be harmed if they did so.

"After all of the residents stepped out of the building, the terrorist came out and opened fire," the army said in a statement. "During the exchange of fire, Abu Roub was killed."

Later Thursday morning, IDF troops destroyed the house of Hamsa abu Roub´s family.

Four Palestinians and five soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire, and two Islamic Jihad activists were arrested.

One of the soldiers was seriously wounded, an officer and two other soldiers were lightly wounded, and a fifth soldier suffered light-to- moderate injuries. They were all taken to the hospital for treatment. By late afternoon, the seriously wounded soldier was classified as moderately wounded.

IDF troops stayed in the area to continue operations.

Gaza: IDF thwarts infiltration; Palestinians fire rocket

The bodies of two Palestinians armed with rifles and grenades were found Thursday morning in the Gaza Strip. The two men were shot by IDF troops overnight Wednesday as they attempted to infiltrate the settlement of Netzarim.

Also in Gaza, two mortar shells and a Kassam rocket landed Thursday morning in the greenhouses of a settlement in the Gush Katif area. There were no injuries.

Late Wednesday and early Thursday, gunshots and fragmentary grenades were fired at military outposts in the Gush Katif and Rafah areas of the Strip.

Three Palestinians were arrested in Gaza Thursday morning.

Qalqilyah: Hamas leader arrested

Undercover troops in Qalqilyah arrested Natzer Nazal, head of the Hamas military wing in the city and a senior Hamas member, along with Talal al-Baz, another senior member of the militant organization. The IDF found weapons in the house in which they were arrested.

Nine Palestinians were arrested overnight Wednesday throughout the West Bank. (© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 12/26/02)

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