Israeli escalation as Palestinian parliament set to approve Abu Mazen cabinet
An Israeli helicopter fired four missiles at a car in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding three others, Palestinian hospital officials said.
Officials at the Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Kahn Yunis said that one of the wounded was in a critical condition. The helicopter attack killed Nidal Salameh, 36, southern Gaza commander of the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a group founded by Ahmed Jibril and based in Syria. There were reports, as yet unconfirmed, that a second PFLP-GC activist was also killed in the attack.
The car was driving south of Khan Yunis at the time of the attack. It was not clear how many passengers were in the car.
Ambulances and firefighters arrived at the scene and a cloud of smoke was seen rising above the car, which had been reduced to a mass of twisted metal. Witnesses said helicopter gunships continued to hover over the area after the attack. PA Minister Saeb Erekat reacted to the latest attack by saying Israeli military strikes aimed at sabotaging efforts to introduce the US-backed "road map".
Earlier, two Palestinians, members of Fatah's al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were killed Tuesday in exchanges of fire with Israeli troops in a West Bank village near Bethlehem. At least one Israeli officer was wounded.
The gun battle erupted after Israeli forces raided the village of Khirbet Aliyeh.
Eleven Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank overnight.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian parliament meets on Tuesday for a vote to approve a reform cabinet and set the stage for new Middle East peace talks.
The assembly was due to confirm the Palestinians' first prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, at the head of a cabinet created under international pressure.
The 88-member Palestinian legislature will meet on Tuesday and hold a confidence vote later in the day or on Wednesday.
Arafat met late Monday Fatah legislators and told them, "I hope all of you will give your votes to brother Abu Mazen and his new cabinet." Abbas is also known as Abu Mazen. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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