10 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip; PA wants international protection
Israeli forces have killed 10 Palestinians during an incursion into the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian hospital source said.
The U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said two of its staff members were among the dead: Osama Hassan Tahrawi, 31, who was killed along with two of his brothers by a missile, was a school attendant; and the woman who died from shrapnel injuries, Ahlam Riziq Kandil, 31, was an elementary school teacher.
The Palestinians died when around 40 Israeli tanks entered the camp firing shells and spraying bullets from machine guns, before withdrawing at around 0300 GMT. According to AFP, exchanges of fire broke out between soldiers and Palestinians, while Israeli troops occupied the camp.
Israeli public radio reported four soldiers were shot and wounded as loudspeakers in mosques urged inhabitants of the camp to resist. Electricity was cut off in Bureij, the radio added.
Ahmad Rabah, director of the hospital in nearby Deir el Ballah camp, said four of the victims whom he named as members of the Mansur family were killed when a tank shell hit their home.
Three Palestinians who had left their homes during the shooting were killed by a missile fired by an Israeli helicopter gunship, witnesses said. At least 20 other Palestinians were wounded during the Israeli incursion, three of them seriously, Rabah added.
The Israelis destroyed the home in the Bureij camp of Ayman Sheshnya, an activist of the People's Defence Committees of Fatah, witnesses said. Troops also questioned people in the home of Islamic Jihad activist Jamal Ismail and damaged the house, along with a dozen others, the witnesses said. Ismail was a suicide bomber who blew himself up along with another man in an explosive-packed boat off the Gaza coast last month, wounding four Israeli soldiers in a nearby navy patrol.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said he was outraged by Friday morning's Israeli operation. "Every day there is a new massacre," Arafat told reporters outside of his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "Every day there is destruction. Every day there is more damage. Every day there are more arrests and every day there are more assassinations."
An aide to Arafat, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said the Palestinians would call on the United Nations Security Council to hold a special session on the violence and to consider sending international observers to the region. (Albawaba.com)
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