Israeli Helicopters Attack Hamas Facility; Palestinian Death Toll Rises to At Least Ten in Less Than 24 Hours
Israeli helicopter gunships fired three missiles at a Hamas facility in the Jabalya refugee camp on the northern outskirts of Gaza City on at around midday Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses reported that the attack killed two Hamas activist in the organization's information offices. Palestinian security officials and doctors claim that one woman was also killed in this attack.
The Israeli army spokesman confirmed the air strike on the Hamas facility, saying it will continue to respond to “terrorist” actions and operate in defense of Israeli civilians.
Two settlers were wounded in a shooting attack Monday morning near the Israeli Taibeh roadblock close to the West Bank city of Tulkarem.
Both of the wounded - a husband and wife - sustained light-to-moderate injuries. One eye-witness told Israel Radio that gunmen opened fire on a convoy of cars, several of which were hit by bullets
At least seven Palestinians were killed in less than 24 hours in new Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip and West Bank. These raids came after four Israelis were killed in two separate Palestinian suicide attacks on Monday.
Separately, Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians and wounded six more in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank, a Palestinian security source said.
Israeli warplanes struck a security buildings in the West Bank and another in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said. Israel Radio reported that Israeli troops had entered the Gaza Strip, cutting it into three sections.
In the West Bank, an Israeli F-16 missile destroyed the police headquarters in the Al-Tira neighborhood of the Palestinian-ruled city of Ramallah. Four Palestinian policemen were moderately wounded by flying debris, hospital officials said.
Israeli jets on Tuesday destroyed the military intelligence building and the Force 17 complex in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Reuters reported that three Palestinians, Miriam al Bahbasa, 40, her 10-year-old daughter Mona and Abd al Wahab a Najar, 18, were killed in their homes overnight when an Israeli tank fired shells at the Palestinian town of Khan Yunis, destroying several houses.
Palestinians said another man was killed in a gunfight with Israeli troops Tuesday morning in Gaza Strip, near Gush Katif settlement.
In the Nablus incident, Palestinian sources said that members of an Israeli special unit tried to enter the Balata refugee camp. The soldiers shot and killed Salah Faraj, 34, who warned the camp's residents of the approaching force.
The Palestinians said that Israeli troops also killed Laylah Katawi, 25, who shouted at the soldiers whom she mistook for armed Palestinians.
Many of the camp's residents took to the streets, armed with weapons, and tried to prevent the Israeli forces from entering.
On Monday an Israeli woman and two soldiers were killed in a Palestinian attack on a convoy heading across the Gaza Strip to the Jewish settlement of Gadid. Minutes after this ambush, a Palestinian gunman was killed trying to break into the Jewish settlement of Morag in the southern Gaza Strip.
Earlier Monday night Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon convened a security meeting in an attempt to come up with new means to stop Palestinian attacks following the escalation in recent days. Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, Shin Bet Security Service chief Avi Dichter and senior army officers participated in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said Monday he did not fear the Israeli occupation threats against him, and against the Palestinian leadership.
“Welcome, I am waiting for them, but they have to understand that the Palestinian people will never be frightened by tanks or F-16s,'' he said in a speech to thousands of visiting Palestinian school children and teachers who came to the president’s headquarters in Ramallah.
"I also tell them that our Palestinian people would never care about their tanks, their warplanes, or even their nuclear weapons that they, (the occupation government) are using against us," said Arafat.
He later told reporters that the Palestinian people are still determined to achieve their rights and they will continue their march toward Jerusalem, "the capital of the independent Palestinian state''. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)