Two Palestinians killed; Israel says it captured kibbutz shooting attack planner
Israeli troops captured the alleged mastermind of a shooting attack on an Israeli kibbutz in his West Bank hideout Thursday, Israeli reports said.
The activist, Mohammed Naefe, surrendered after his hideout in the city of Tulkarem was surrounded by troops, the military said. He walked out with his hands raised over his head, the army said, denying Palestinian witness reports that Naefe had jumped off the roof in an apparent attempt to escape, AP reported.
An Israeli human rights group helped arrange the surrender of Naefe and two apparent accomplices.
In Nablus, an 18-year-old Palestinian has been reported killed Thursday morning. Two other Palestinians were wounded in fighting in the nearby Balata refugee camp.
Also in Tulkarem, the army demolished the family home of a local Palestinian who killed three people, including two teen-age girls, in a Jewish settlement Oct. 29 before being killed in a gunfight with soldiers and residents.
In the southern Gaza town of Rafah, a 37-year-old Palestinian man, Jamal Abu Helal, was killed Thursday evening when he was hit by Israeli gunfire near the border with Egypt, Palestinian witnesses and the Rafah hospital said.
Also in the Gaza Strip, a two-year-old Palestinian boy was killed and his mother moderately wounded by Israeli gunfire Wednesday evening in the southern Gaza Strip.
Hamed al Masri and his mother Asma al Masri, 31, were taken to Rafah's Al Najjar hospital where the child was pronounced dead. Palestinian sources said that the child was killed while in his house with his mother in the refugee camp in the southern area of Rafah near the border.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces backed by 30 tanks and three helicopters stormed into central Gaza City early Thursday, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.
The army raided the two-story home of Yosef Meqdad, an officer in the Palestinian preventive security service, to detain him and three of his brothers, according to a 21-year-old relative, Majida Meqdad.
According to AP, the operation started after midnight and ended less than two hours later. Soldiers fired machine guns as they penetrated into the city from the south, witnesses said.
In Thursday's early-morning raid in central Gaza City, Israeli forces rolled into the Talalhawa neighborhood, an area where the headquarters of the preventive security service and the studios of Palestinian state television are located.
Troops also swept into the neighborhood of Sabra, home to many members of Hamas, including its spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Two Palestinians, including a guard at the television station, were taken to hospital with light injuries.
B'tselem, meanwhile, said the Israeli army was continuing to use Palestinian civilians as human shields in operations to arrest suspected activists. (Albawaba.com)
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