Israel nabs 12 Palestinians in psychiatric hospital as Hamas says killing of Yassin - Israel's ''beginning of the end''
An Israeli military unit early on Thursday abducted 12 wanted Palestinians in a psychiatric hospital in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, WAFA reported.
According to Israeli military sources, the men were senior activists who were planning suicide attacks inside Israel, and often found refuge in or near the hospital.
The troops received intelligence information pertaining to the activists' whereabouts and surrounded the hospital, calling on them to surrender, Israel Army Radio said.
The activists opened fire and an hour-long gun battle ensued. At the end of the exchange of fire the men decided to surrender and were taked by the troops for unknown location, the reports added.
An Israeli commander in the area said that the men arrested were senior Tanzim members, and that some of them were employed by the Palestinian security services.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Nazzal, a member of Hamas political bureau, Wednesday told a rally in Karawat Bani Hassan, Nablus district, that the "martyrdom" of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hamas founder, pointed to the beginning of the end of the "Zionist entity."
He explained that an "Ummah" (nation) offering its leaders as "martyrs" would certainly be victorious.
Nazzal, speaking over the phone from Beirut, said that blood of the Sheikh had revived the Muslim Ummah and constituted a moral boost to the Hamas Movement.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)