At Least 15 Palestinians Killed on Monday; Sharon Promises More Raids on Refugee Camps
At least 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on Monday in various incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Six Palestinians, including three children, were killed Monday afternoon by an Israeli tank shell fired on two cars in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Palestinian sources reported that the strike was a botched Israeli assassination attempt on Hamas activist, Hussein Abu Kweik, whose wife and three children were among the dead. The sources also said that Abu Kweik himself was not in the car at the time of the explosion.
Hospital officials identified the victims as Bushra Abu Kweik, 38, and her three children, Aziza, 17, Bara, 14, and Mohammed, 8. The two people killed in the second car were identified as Arafat Ibrahim al-Masri, 16, and Haima al-Masri, 7.
The Palestinian Authority head of security in the West Bank, Jibril Rajoub, said the pickup truck was hit by two tank shells fired from the nearby Jewish settlement of Psagot.
An israeli military source said that the blast was an assassination attempt on two armed Palestinians in the area, but that the shell had hit the civilians by mistake, Haaretz reported.
Abu Kweik is a member of Hamas' military wing in the al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah
Dozens of Israeli tanks and military vehicles moved into the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank early Monday, sparking heavy street fighting with local gunmen in the second raid there in less than a week, sources from both sides said.
Palestinian security sources said Amjad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Fakhouri, 26, was killed in a gun battle with Israeli soldiers in the camp. Later, witnesses and hospital officials said an Israeli helicopter gunship opened fire on the refugee camp, killing two Palestinians - Samira Mohammed Zubaydi, 55 and Nasser Johari, 37. Ismah Kemal Ruzeh, 23, was seriously injured and declared clinically dead.
An Israeli soldier was lightly injured in intense exchanges of fire during this incursion into Jenin, Israel Radio reported.
In addition, one Palestinian doctor was killed and three of his staff members were wounded seriously after Israeli soldiers fired at a Palestinian ambulance.
The ambulance driver approached an Israeli roadblock near the Jenin refugee camp. The soldiers shot at the vehicle.
Earlier, Palestinian sources had complained the Israeli army was not allowing rescue forces into the camp.
Soon afterwards, tanks entered the nearby Palestinian village of Tamoun. Palestinian hospital sources said five children were hit in the legs by Israeli gunfire.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops and armor also streamed into the Rafah refugee camp and opened fire with machine guns, demolishing three houses and a police post and clashing with gunmen before pulling out five hours later, Palestinian witnesses said.
Soldiers shot dead three Palestinians during the raid. Palestinian medics and witnesses said two were civilians. According to Palestinian sources, Ibrahim Ali Barhoum, 42, was shot in the head by Israeli forces. The two other Palestinians killed were Ahmed Yusef Himaid Sufi, 24 and
Saber Fakhri Abu Libdeh, 28, a member of the Palestinian National Security Force.
An Israeli source said it was a "limited operation" seeking tunnels used to smuggle arms from nearby Egypt into Rafah.
Troops also shot dead a Palestinian at a checkpoint near Nablus in the West Bank on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday that Israeli troops would carry out further raids on Palestinian refugee camps as part of an Israeli plan for "continuous military pressure" on the Palestinian Authority.
The prime minister, speaking Monday to members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that such operations are beneficial as they deprive "terrorists" of safe refuge.(Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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