Israel kills five unarmed Palestinians, one PFLP activist in Gaza Strip
Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip shot dead five unarmed Palestinians they believed were planning to climb a border fence to get into Israel, an Israeli military source said on Thursday, according to Reuters.
"An army force identified several suspicious figures crawling toward the border fence near the Karni border crossing overnight," the source said. "This area is barred to Palestinian traffic and there were specific warnings that an infiltration attempt would be carried out in this area."
The source said the Israeli force opened fire and found the bodies of five Palestinians in a search in the morning. "They were found with ladders, apparently having planned to get over the border fence, but no weapons were found," the source added.
Palestinian sources speculated they might have been laborers trying to sneak into Israel to find work.
In another incident, Israeli forces killed early Thursday an armed Palestinian who tried to infiltrate the Nezer Hazani settlement in the Gaza Strip. Soldiers found an automatic weapon and several hand grenades on his body, the Israeli army said. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attempted infiltration, saying it was marking the 35th anniversary of its founding.
Earlier, Israeli soldiers shot and injured two Palestinian civilians, one seriously, near the Jewish settlement of Tel Katifa in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli army, soldiers noticed several figures crawling toward the settlement's groves who failed to halt when warning shots were fired. No weapons were found on the wounded Palestinians, Israeli reports said.
Soon after, an Israeli soldier was lightly injured near the Morag settlement, also located in the Gush Katif area in Gaza Strip, when an army jeep ran over an explosive.
In the West Bank, Israeli troops operating in the Askar refugee camp, near Nablus, arrested Wednesday afternoon a member of Fatah-Tanzim, identified as Sultan Sa'ed.
Meanwhile, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi told Israeli President Moshe Katsav that Italy has cut contacts with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian officials since the killing of 29 Israelis in March, an Israeli official said, according to AP.
In the talks Wednesday in Rome with Katsav, Berlusconi also pledged "Italy's unconditional support of the right of the Israeli people to live in peace on their land," said Israeli Embassy spokesman Ofer Bavly, who attended the meeting. (Albawaba.com)
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