Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hinted Tuesday that the Israeli army would launch a massive attack on Palestinians in Gaza Strip. In his appearance in front of members of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, he said that “terror attacks” from Gaza Strip are continuing, despite the fact that the Israeli army is not operating there.
MK Ran Cohen of the Meretz party said he understood from Sharon's statements that the Israeli army was planning an offensive in Gaza Strip soon. Sharon also said he was unaware of any security official calling for abandoning settlements.
"[Gaza Strip settlement] Netzarim is to be considered the same as as Tel Aviv," Sharon said, according to Army Radio.
The Israeli army said it had arrested 26 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight on suspicion of "terrorist activities". However, according to independent reports, Israel arrested a total of 42 Palestinians.
A military communique Tuesday said nine were arrested in the village of Hussan, seven in Tsurif and five in Qader, all in the Bethlehem area.
Five more were seized at Yatta, south of Hebron, the Israeli army said.
Meanwhile, three bound Palestinians, apparently suspected “collaborators” with Israel, were shot dead Tuesday in the same spot where hours earlier Israel assasinated a local Fatah leader in a missile strike.
A large crowd quickly gathered around the bodies lying in Salam Street in Hebron. The three men had been shot in the head, with their hands tied behind their backs. "The fate of all collaborators will be like this," said a masked Palestinian, wearing a headband of the Fatah - Tanzim, before he and six others sped away. (Albawaba.com)
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