Israeli troops kill four Palestinians, Hamas vows revenge
Four Palestinians, including a senior Hamas activist and a 16-year-old youth, were killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Saturday, Palestinian doctors and witnesses said.
Three Palestinians, including a senior Hamas Gaza Strip field commander, were killed and 10 were injured during a heavy exchange of fire between Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers in the southern Gaza Strip early Saturday, Palestinian hospital sources and witnesses said.
For more than a week, the Israeli army has been operating in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. During that period, at least 10 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli fire and many houses were demolished.
In Saturday's fighting, a group of Palestinian fighters tried to enter a building that Israeli soldiers were using as a makeshift outpost in the Salam neighborhood of the Rafah refugee camp. Israeli snipers posted on the rooftop fired at the group, witnesses said.
One of those killed was Tariq Abu Hussein, 39, a well-known local field commander of Hamas.
The two other people killed were a woman, Widad Jirami, 28, and her brother-in-law Hussam Mughier, 26. The two had gone out to try to help one of the Palestinians wounded near their house, witnesses said. A tank shell was fired at the group, witnesses said. The woman's husband was also injured and is in critical condition.
In a statement faxed to several news agencies, Hamas vowed to avenge Abu Hussein's death.
In a separate clash, soldiers shot dead a 16-year-old boy during a confrontation in the West Bank city of Tulkarem.
On Friday, two Palestinian women were shot and wounded by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza while five civilians were arrested in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Meanwhile, the American embassy in Israel on Friday suspended until further notice all trips to the Gaza Strip by American officials, following the latest bombing attack on an American convoy that killed three US security men.
A senior embassy official said Friday that the question was being considered whether the Palestinians were still partners with the U.S. He said that American aid to the Palestinians would continue, as well as consulate services.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
- Three Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in West Bank and Gaza Strip
- Israeli troops kill six Palestinians in Gaza Strip, West Bank
- 13 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip and West Bank
- Gaza Strip: At least 14 Palestinians, including two Hamas men, killed in another day of Israeli aggression
- Six Palestinians, Israeli woman killed