Seven Palestinians dead in West Bank, Gaza Strip as Qurei denies reports on imminent summit with Sharon
Five Fatah fighters were killed by undercover Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian sources said Wednesday. They were killed in an operation by an Israeli undercover army unit that intercepted the vehicle they were traveling in. They were identified as Ayman Sabahna, Amer Sakhel, Mohammad Khairallah, Iyhab Abu Jaafar and Bassem al-Mahdi, AFP reported.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemned the attack as a "massacre". "This is one of the massacres committed day and night by the Israelis," he told reporters after a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
In the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Israeli troops shot dead another Palestinian man, sources in the city conveyed.
Earlier, Israeli forces entered the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, surrounding two houses and exchanging fierce fire with Palestinian fighters, witnesses said.
An Israeli military official, speaking to The AP, confirmed the army was operating in the Rafah area, not far from the Gaza Strip-Egypt border.
The forces entered the area with tanks, armored personnel carriers and bulldozers, the witnesses said. Palestinian resistance fighters took to the streets to confront the soldiers.
According to WAFA, the Israeli troops injured at least three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, medics and security sources said.
Palestinian security sources confirmed that around 14 armoured vehicles swept into al-Barazil neighbourhood of Rafah and opened intensive gunfire on Palestinian houses.
Al-Najjar Hospital sources in Rafah, told WAFA that a 24-year-old pregnant woman, named Rabab Awisi, was wounded as her house was shelled by Israeli tanks. “Awisi suffered fractures and bruises in different parts of her body," al-Najjar Hospital official was quoted as saying by WAFA.
In Khan Younis, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded two Palestinians, including a woman, security sources in the Gaza Strip said.
Nasser Hospital sources, in Khan Younis conveyed that Sanaa al-Batta, 37-year-old woman, was wounded in the face with shrapnel while Mosleh Zo'orob, 27, was wounded with a live gunshot in the left hand.
Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers, positioned in the settlement of Neveh Dekalim, opened fire.
Also in Khan Younis, a one-month- old Palestinian infant, Hussam A. Al-Najjar, died Wednesday afternoon as Israeli occupation soldiers banned an ambulance from taking him to a hospital in the city, Palestinian medical sources said.
Medics said Israeli soldiers, stationed at the al-Tuffah checkpoint prevented for more than an hour, the ambulance carrying the infant and his family, from reaching "Mubarak Children's Hospital." After his death the Israeli soldiers allowed the ambulance to pass, relatives of the infant said.
In the West Bank village of Serreas, south of Jenin, Israeli troops arrested Wednesday two Palestinians, witnesses and security sources said.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei denied press reports that a date had been set for him to meet Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "The date is not fixed yet. There will be a meeting between the delegations," Qurei said.
Earlier it was reported the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers have decided to meet next week. A senior Palestinian official told The Ap the tentative date for the long-delayed summit is Tuesday. (Albawaba.com)
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