Israel kills two Palestinian farmers in Gaza Strip; Mubarak confirms he plans to meet Sharon
Two Palestinian farmers were killed by Israeli tank fire in Gaza Strip on Monday, while they were engaged in farm work, Palestinian sources said.
Meanwhile, Palestinian medical sources said 54 years-old Abdel Rahman Hreini died Monday of a heart attack while attempting to reach his work in Alya Hospital in Hebron from Yatta town through long rough and difficult routes to avoid Israeli military roadblocks that prevent movement to and within the city.
Medical sources at the hospital reported that Hereini had previously suffered from several heart attacks and that the difficult route he undertook on foot directly contributed to the deterioration in his health.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of health, 72 Palestinians were killed during last month; 38 in the Gaza Strip and 34 in the West Bank. Two of the victims were mentally handicapped.
In another development, Israeli soldiers used tear gas, stun grenades and sound bombs against Palestinian detainees who were protesting against the poor living conditions at “Ketziot” military detention camp, in the southern Israeli Negev desert.
In the prison riots, detainees were demanding that as many as 80 sick detainees receive better medical treatment, including hospitalization, said Issa Karaka, who heads the Prisoner’s Club; a Palestinian group that monitors prisoners’ conditions.
The inmates burned tents and threw shoes and other items at guards. “When the wardens refused to listen to them, they started shouting, so the wardens fired tear gas at them,” he told AFP, adding scores of the prisoners were treated for gas inhalation.
Most of the 1,100 prisoners are being held under “administrative detention,” which allows Israel to hold them indefinitely without charging them with any crime.
In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak said Monday that he plans to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after Sharon forms a new government. Mubarak told Al-Gomhuria daily the two would meet at the southern Sinai resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
It would be Mubarak's first meeting with Sharon as prime minister. Mubarak called Sharon last week to congratulate him on his election victory, and to discuss ways to push the diplomatic process forward.
He told the state-run newspaper that their meeting would be a way of giving momentum to peace efforts.
Mubarak told Al-Gomhuria that Sharon had contacted him during his first term and had asked to meet him in Egypt, but "the Palestinian land was witnessing acts of violence, demolishing and destruction."
Although the situation on the ground has not quieted and Mubarak repeatedly has said Sharon does not want peace, the Egyptian president was quoted by Al-Gomhuria as saying switching gears to meeting with Sharon is appropriate because dialogue and negotiation are "the only ways that fulfill the two sides' aspirations for security and stability." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)