Israeli Raid Turns into Major Clash
A raid by Israeli troops to arrest three men inside Palestinian territory has turned into a large-scale armed confrontation, as Israeli troops, tanks and helicopters become involved. The raid inside Palestinian territory comes as US peace envoy Zinni is starting his talks with Israeli Prime Minster Sharon and Palestinian President Arafat.
The raid begun in the early morning hours as Israel Special Forces moved into the village of Til, southwest of Nablus, to arrest three Palestinians suspected of planning to carry out a terror attack. the Itim news agency reported. In similar raids elsewhere on Thursday, Israeli forces had already seized five suspected Hamas militants.
Tel Mayor Adnan Sefi told the Reuters agency by telephone that between 15 and 20 Israeli armored vehicles including tanks rumbled into the village, near the city of Nablus, at dawn. However, the Til village raid was different. Israel Army Radio said that a firefight broke out, during which one of the Palestinians was killed and the other two wounded.
The Jerusalem Post reported several hours later that Israeli soldiers were still taking part in the manhunt after several Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, and that helicopters and tanks were also being used. The Israeli Army has declared the entire vicinity a closed military zone, preventing journalists from approaching. (www.albawaba.com)