Palestinian killed in Gaza Strip; Arafat demands Bin Laden to stop exploiting the Palestinian cause
Israeli troops late Saturday killed a Palestinian at the Gaza Strip border with Egypt. Israeli military sources said the soldiers fired at an armed Palestinian approaching them near the frontier town of Rafah around midnight on Saturday.
Earlier Saturday night, two Israelis were lightly wounded when Palestinians ambushed a vehicle driving near the West Bank settlement of Shilo, north of Ramallah.
Palestinian security officials said Saturday that Israeli bulldozers destroyed two buildings that housed 16 Palestinians near the settlement of Netzarim, in the Gaza Strip.
Also on Saturday, in the West Bank town of Nablus, Israeli troops clashed with students at An-Najah University after closing the institution down, Palestinians said. Three students were slightly injured. The army said a curfew had been imposed in the town.
Meanwhile, Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat demanded in a newspaper interview on Sunday that al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden stop exploiting the Palestinian issue to further his own interests.
"Why is bin Laden talking about Palestine now?" he asked in an interview with Britain's Sunday Times. "He never helped us. He was working in another, completely different area and against our interests."
"I'm telling him directly not to hide behind the Palestinian cause," Arafat said. Arafat also dismissed as "big, big lies" claims by Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon that al Qaeda had established a presence in Palestinian-ruled areas of the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon.
"Sharon wants to cover his military attacks against the Palestinian people with a new face. He knows that there are no relations between al Qaeda and Palestine."
Arafat said that al Qaeda had tried to justify attacks by claiming they were part of a campaign to seize control of Palestinian territories from Israel. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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