Palestinian detainees riot in Israeli camp, at least 30 wounded; Israeli killed in West Bank
Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians in two Gaza Strip refugee camps early Thursday and then withdrew. Elsewhere, Israeli police said they killed an armed Palestinian who broke into a home at an Israeli village near the West Bank boundary.
And on Thursday night, dozens of Palestinians were reported wounded after serious riots erupted at the Ofer camp detention center, south of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israeli sources reported that a large number of troops were called in to quell the riots that erupted amongst the 700 Palestinian detainees. Several loud explosions were reported from the area and a number of fires blazed after prisoners set fire to their mattresses.
The prisoners, all Palestinians arrested by Israel in the West Bank, began rioting to protest their poor conditions.
Palestinian sources said 30 prisoners were wounded as the Israeli army attempted to put down the riot firing tear gas and throwing stun grenades. In the afternoon hours, the prisoners had declared a hunger strike.
Israel's Channel 1 television said that the troops managed to restore quiet.
Israeli forces launched a night-time military incursion into Nusairat and Bureij camps in the central Gaza Strip.
Ambulance workers said several Palestinians were wounded. Israel's Army Radio reported that there were Palestinian fatalities in the raid. Two Israeli soldiers were injured from Palestinian fire.
Called to arms from mosque loudspeakers, Palestinian fighters flocked to the streets of Nusairat and Bureij and exchanged shots with Israeli troops on the outskirts of the camps.
The troops withdrew after two hours. According to AP, a food warehouse on the outskirts of Bureij was damaged by an Israeli tank.
In Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza Palestinian witnesses said bulldozers demolished at least four structures.
Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades published a leaflet claiming that they have killed an Israeli in the Jordan Valley. The group said it was avenging the killing of one of its members by Israeli soldiers several months ago in the West Bank village of Tamun.
Later in the day, the badly burned body of the 70-year-old Israeli man was found in a car in the West Bank.
Also on Thursday, the Israeli army arrested Ahram Samih Abu Bakar, thought to be a senior member of Fatah, who has been wanted by Israel for a long time, Palestinian sources said.
The sources added that Israeli tanks entered the city of Tulkarem, mainly the western and southern neighborhoods, accompanied by three Apache helicopters. The tanks surrounded a building in the southern neighborhood after arresting the father and two sons of Abu Bakar. The Fatah member was arrested after the building had been surrounded for some hours, along with three other Palestinians.
Two other Tanzim members were arrested in a market near Ramallah.
Earlier in Maor, an Israeli agricultural commune near the northern West Bank boundary, Israeli security forces killed a suspected Palestinian holed up in an apartment after a stand-off early Thursday.
"After securing the building our counter-terrorist unit made contact with the terrorist who was armed with an M-16 and still posing threat, and killed him," a police spokesman said. He confirmed that a couple in the 50s who immigrated seven years ago from Zurich, Switzerland, had escaped from the building but denied earlier media reports that two children had also been in the apartment.
The Palestinian fired one shot as he broke into the apartment, but his assault rifle jammed before he could hurt anyone, the spokesman added.
Near the West Bank city of Nablus, troops fired on a Palestinian who the army said had been making his way between the Yitzhar and Immanuel settlements. Explosives in his bag went off, killing him. "We believe the terrorist's bomb was intended for one of the nearby settlements," an army spokeswoman said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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