Palestinian Arrested for Alleged Collaboration with Israel
Palestinian police arrested a Palestinian man Monday for suspected collaboration with Israel after he opened fire toward the Jewish West Bank settlement of Gilo, provoking an Israeli response, a security source said.
"The suspect opened fire while the Israeli central regional commander-in-chief General Yitzhak Eitan was in the settlement with an Israeli television crew," the Palestinian security source told AFP.
"Palestinian police immediately arrested the suspect, who was found in the village of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. Questioning revealed that he was collaborating with the Israeli occupying forces," he added.
"He admitted that the incident was provoked in cahoots with the Israelis so that they could respond with retaliatory fire on Beit Jala", the source said.
The provocative firing had brought "an immediate response from the Israeli army which opened fire with shells on Beit Jala."
Witnesses said that Israeli tanks and helicopter gunships fired rockets and shells on Beit Jala in response to Palestinian fire on Gilo.
Israeli military spokesman Yarden Vatikai strongly denied the use of helicopters and rocket fire on Beit Jala.
"This information is false, there was no use of helicopters nor rockets, just one or two shells," the spokesman told AFP.
At least two people were injured and several buildings damaged by Israeli missiles, according to witnesses and hospital sources.
The army announced Monday that it was encircling Beit Jala following the overnight shooting on Gilo and set up roadblocks to prevent "armed elements" entering the area.
"We have the green light to react with all the means at our disposal to these attacks against Gilo," the commander of Israeli forces in the sector, General Marcel Aviv, told army radio – GAZA CITY (AFP)
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