Israeli army escalates offensive in West Bank: Two Palestinians shot dead
Israeli troops on early Tuesday killed a member of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin. In addition, occupation soldiers blew up two houses of Islamic Jihad activists in a nearby West Bank village, media reports said.
It was the second West Bank raid in as many days, and came just one day after a massive raid on Ramallah.
Palestinians warned that the renewed military operations could torpedo attempts by the Palestinian government to persuade factions to halt attacks on Israelis.
Early Tuesday, some 25 jeeps and armored personnel carriers moved into Jenin and soldiers conducted house to house search, witnesses said.
Gun battles erupted, and residents said they later found the body of Amjad Saadi, a member of Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. Two other civilians were also injured, locals told news agencies.
Israel Radio later, citing Israeli military sources, said Saadi was a senior Al Aqsa commander in the area. In addition, it reported that four Palestinians were arrested in the raid.
In the nearby village of Silat Al Harthiya, occupation troops destroyed two homes of members of the Islamic Jihad group and arrested three Palestinians, the army said.
On Tuesday evening, Israeli troops killed another Palestinian north of Ramallah, near the village of Aboud.
Also in the West Bank, near Nablus, Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinian civilians who were passing through, which led to the injury of Saher Thaher, 19, in the left foot, according to medical sources. Thaher was urgently rushed to Rafidia hospital in Nablus for treatment. His condition was described as moderate, but stable.
In Gaza Strip town of Deir El Balah, Palestinian security and medical sources reported that occupation troops stationed at the Abu Huly military checkpoint opened heavy and random gunfire at Palestinian civilians and their houses, wounding Abed Rabbo Al Qaoud, 73. Hospital officials said that Al Qaoud was immediately transferred to a local hospital.
The latest killings come as negotiations involving Palestinian factions started in Cairo. "The latest Israelis escalation seriously threatens the dialogue in Cairo and puts serious obstacles in front of taking a decision to implement calm," said Ahmad Ghneim, a delegate from Fatah movement. It should be noted that Most of the delegations arrived in Cairo Tuesday, except those representing the main groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (Albawaba.com)
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