Six Palestinians, Israeli soldier killed in Gaza Strip, W. Bank as Israeli forces operate near Arafat HQ
Israeli army jeeps on Thursday afternoon surrounded the headquarters of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Reports said Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters exchanged fire in the area. In a related incident, a man was killed by Israeli troops after throwing a molotov cocktail, the Israeli Army announced Thursday. The incident occurred near Arafat headquarters.
Earlier, two Palestinian fighters opened fire at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza Strip early Thursday, killing at least one Israeli before being shot dead, military officials and Israeli radio reported.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a group linked to Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack over loudspeakers in the mosques of northern Gaza City. Palestinian sources identified the two attackers as Ashraf Zaqut and Ayman Sahwil. They were residents of Beit Hanun.
Palestinian sources reported an intensive exchange of fire lasted for some an hour between the Palestinians and soldiers at the crossing point.
Israel Radio reported that the two Palestinians were killed. Military officials said at least one Israeli had been seriously wounded in the attack. But Israeli press reports conveyed that the Israeli had been killed.
Meanwhile, at least three Palestinian civilians, two of them identified as Zakaria Mahmoud Eid, 26, and Muhammad Fadl Rayan, 30 - were shot dead Thursday by Israeli fire in the West Bank village of Beit Ijzah, located near Jerusalem. 11 demonstrators were injured, including three who were in serious condition, hospital officials said.
According to WAFA news agency, the shooting came during a protest against the construction of the West Bank wall. Eyewitnesses also said that troops used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protestors. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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