Israel Says Resistance in Jenin ''Tougher Than Estimated''; At Least Eight Palestinians Killed in Nablus
Armed Palestinians fighting Israeli troops in the Kasbah area of the West Bank's largest city of Nablus on Sunday refused to give themselves up, and vowed to fight "until the end."
The Israeli army said Sunday that over the past 48 hours, his troops had killed over 30 armed Palestinians in fierce house-to-house fighting in Nablus. He added that 13 of that number had been killed Sunday. Among them is Muyad Jamil, 23, believed to be a senior activist of Fatah's military wing in Nablus.
Nablus Gov. Mahmood Alul said Israeli soldiers had taken over houses around the old city but had not penetrated the area by Sunday afternoon.
Ten bodies lay in an old city mosque, unable to be evacuated, and more than 65 injured Palestinians were receiving medical care, but with gunbattles continuing they still could not be taken to hospitals, Alul said.
Eight Palestinians died Sunday in Nablus from sniper bullets and in clashes, including Ahmed Tabouk, a 38-year-old military wing leader of Arafat's Fatah movement in the old city, according to Palestinian doctors. Tabouk's body was still in the field, unable to be evacuated because of sniper fire, said Dr. Zahara Wawi.
Israeli troops also arrested dozens of Palestinians suspected of involvement in attacks against Israelis.
Tanks fired shells and helicopters sent missiles into a refugee camp in Jenin, in the northern West Bank, for the fifth straight day Sunday. "In Jenin, we are at the verge of ending the fighting in the refugee camp," Israeli army spokesman Brig. Gen. Ron Kitrey told The Associated Press. "The resistance there was very tough, perhaps tougher than estimated."
Palestinians inside the camp said Israeli forces have taken up positions in eastern and western neighborhoods, not in the heart of the camp. They have been exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen from homes they have taken over, according to Jamal Abdel Salaam, a leader of Hamas inside the camp.
He said residents talk of bloody bodies lying in the streets for days with no one able to get to them, wounded people unable to get medical care and homes demolished. It was impossible independently to verify Israeli or Palestinian reports of events inside the camp.
Earlier, Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Shaul Mofaz told Sunday morning's weekly cabinet meeting that 11 Israeli soldiers and 200 Palestinians have been killed during Israel's 10-day campaign.
Mofaz added that 143 soldiers and 1,500 Palestinians have been injured so far in the operation.
There was no way to independently verify the soaring Palestinian death toll. Combat areas are blocked off, and Israel has been accused of imposing a media blackout to give it a free hand to wage its campaign. Israel says the move is to protect both soldiers and journalists. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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