Five Israeli soldiers injured in Jenin; U.S. condemns demolition of Palestinian homes
Five Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded Saturday morning after being shot from an ambush while on patrol in the West Bank city of Jenin.
The occupation troops managed to hit one of the Palestinian attackers, and according to Israel's Army Radio, he was shot dead.
Elsewhere, Israeli forces staged an overnight raid in the West Bank city of Ramallah. A unit of some 20 Israeli jeeps raided Ramallah's Al-Amari refugee camp, Palestinian sources said.
The sources said the troops apparently abandoned a plan to destroy the home of Wafa Idris, who became the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, as it would have caused serious damage to neighbouring houses in the camp, AFP reported.
Palestinian security sources also said four Israeli tanks backed by two bulldozers staged a brief incursion into the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah and demolished two houses near the border with Egypt.
The Israeli army has bulldozed or dynamited more than 110 houses in the West Bank since August.
In Washington, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher reiterated the US position in support of Israel's right to defend itself against violence, but said the destruction of homes and the resulting displacement of Palestinian families were damaging peace efforts.
"We recognize Israel's need to take legitimate anti-terrorist action and we've been very clear about the need for Palestinian action against violence and terror," he told reporters.
"However, steps such as the displacement of people through the demolition of homes and property exacerbate the humanitarian situation and undermine trust and confidence," he said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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