Arrests in Jenin; Hamas says Israel to '\'pay a heavy price'\' for new decision to recapture Palestinian territory
Israeli troops arrested more than ten Palestinians, members in Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Palestinian security sources said Wednesday. Houses were also searched in the northern West Bank town of Jenin.
Al-Razi hospital, belonging to the Waqf, the Muslim religious endowment, was taken over by the army and one of its rooms blown up, the sources said Wednesday. The hospital's director, Doctor Ziad Ayasi, was arrested although the sources said he was not wanted by Israel.
The 70-year-old mother of Islamic Jihad's leader for Jenin refugee camp and town, Bassam al-Shaabi, died of a heart attack when the army entered his house in the camp, the sources said, according to AFP. Al Shaabi himself was not at home when his house was surrounded and searched by the army.
Dozens of men aged 15 to 50 were rounded up in the refugee camp and interrogated in a UN school there. The army also searched houses in the camp.
In another incident, Palestinians opened fire Wednesday morning from the Jenin area on Israeli border police officers at a construction site for the barrier being built between Israel and the West Bank, Israel Radio reported.
The police were guarding bulldozers at work in the area. Israeli Security forces were returning fire. There were no reports of casualties.
Meanwhile, the PA officials said the Israeli decision to recapture Palestinian territory would only cause further bloodshed and push Palestinian groups to carry out more attacks against Israelis.
Arafat adviser Ahmed Abdel Rahman warned the new Israeli policy would cause only more violence. "The occupation will not ensure Israel's security, but will escalate and complicate the situation more and more and push the Palestinians to resist harder," Abdel Rahman said.
"Any resistance to this occupation now will be legitimate and accepted by all Palestinians against the occupiers and the invaders of Palestinian sovereign areas," he said. He added: "Security for the Israelis will not come while Israeli army occupation forces occupy Palestinian land and deprive Palestinians of their own security."
Israeli officials said the government's change of policy was part of measures intended to prevent more Palestinian attacks.
But Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said Sharon wanted to "end the peace process, destroy the Palestinian Authority, replace it with the (Israeli) civil administration and to press ahead with the occupation.
"This was what Sharon promised his electorate he was going to achieve, and he is doing it with security fences, intensifying settlement activity and imposing facts on the ground in Jerusalem," he said.
For his part, Dr. Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, a senior leader in Hamas vowed Israel would "pay a heavy price" for the new decision. "Palestinians have either to resist the occupation and pay the price, which can be heavy, or to surrender to the occupation and live humiliated forever," Rantissi said. "I think the Palestinian people have decided to resist until the last drop of blood," he commented. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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