Israel Wounds Two Palestinians, Arrests More in New Incursion
Israeli tanks and bulldozers pushed into the Palestinian-ruled town of Arrabeh in the north of the West Bank at dawn Wednesday, sparking a gunfight that left two Palestinian policemen wounded, Palestinian security sources told AFP.
Israeli forces surrounded the home of Islamic Jihad activist Nabil Maghir, located about one kilometer inside the Palestinian autonomous zone near the city of Jenin.
Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for a drive-by shooting attack Sunday in the northern city of Hadera in which four Israeli women were killed along with two gunmen, and 31 people wounded.
About a dozen armored vehicles, two bulldozers and infantry units staged the dawn incursion into the Palestinian autonomous area, just two months after a previous brief raid.
An Israeli military official confirmed that the raid was underway but declined to give details.
The Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper said on its internet edition that five Palestinians, including Maghir, were arrested and two wounded in the offensive.
The incursion came as Israeli security forces were on extremely high alert for a suicide bomber who police sources said was feared en route to - or who may have already entered - the northern Sharon area. The Sharon has been a frequent target of Palestinian fighter, many of them based in Jenin, said the paper.
Over 700 Palestinians and more than 170 Israelis have been killed in the latest Palestinian uprising against 34 years of Israeli military occupation, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official said Monday that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat would meet Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for the first time in more than a month at a conference of European and Mediterranean countries in Spain on Friday.
According to AFP, Peres admitted to reporters Tuesday he would "probably" meet Arafat at the conference, but stressed that no talks would take place.
"We shall probably meet but we are not going to negotiate because I think negotiations should be prepared very carefully," he said – Albawaba.com
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