Israel launches massive raid to ''isolate'' Rafah, many Palestinians leave houses
Israeli forces early Monday started a major operation in the southern Gaza Strip.
The goals of the raid, according to Israeli sources, included completely separating the town of Rafah, on the Egyptian border, from the rest of Strip; arresting and/or killing "wanted" activists.
Dozens of Palestinians from Rafah began leaving their houses Sunday, fearing that their homes would be destroyed by the Israeli army. During the weekend, Israeli bulldozers knocked down dozens of structures in the city.
On its part, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) called for ending the Israeli destroying of Palestinian houses in the refugee Camp of Rafah.
UNRWA urged the Israeli military to halt its demolition operations in Rafah in the Gaza Strip where 12,600 people are now homeless. UNRWA turned a school into shelter to host the Palestinians, who lost their houses during the latest wave of house demolitions. It also distributed tents, food, water, kitchen kits, mattresses and blankets.
Also early on Monday, Israeli helicopters fired five missiles into an office run by Fatah movement in Gaza City, witnesses said. No one was hurt in the attack, which came just after midnight. The Israeli military said that the air strike was aimed at two offices in the same building that were "focal points for terrorism." The Democratic Front also has an office there.
Israeli troops killed Monday a Palestinian in the town of Silwad, south of Ramallah, Palestinian medical sources and witnesses said. They told WAFA that Mohammed Hamed 21, was instantly killed after having been shot with a live gunshot in the head.
In the mean time, Israeli forces incurred into Bethlehem City, witnesses said.
On Sunday evening, Israeli troops killed three Palestinians trying to plant a bomb on the border fence between Israel and Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported. The military said soldiers fired at suspicious Palestinians, and explosives they were carrying detonated, killing them. Earlier, Israel Radio reported that four Palestinians were killed.
Also Sunday, Israeli troops clashed with armed Palestinians south of the West Bank city of Hebron, the military said. One of the Palestinian was killed. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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