Israel arrests armed infiltrator close to Jordan border; Israel rejects Hizbullah offer for prisoners swap

Published April 28th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli forces arrested an armed Palestinian in the early hours of Sunday morning, close to the Jewish Argeman settlement in the Jordan Valley.  


At around midnight Saturday, Israeli security forces identified an attempted infiltration on the Jordan border, and a large number of soldiers was brought in to comb the area. After locating the infiltrator, Israeli soldiers opened fire, injuring the attacker, who was transferred to hospital for treatment, Israel Radio reported.  


An Israeli soldier opened fire in downtown Jerusalem early Sunday, wounding a Palestinian, Israeli police said, adding that the incident was a personal dispute and not a Palestinian shooting attack as they first reported.  


According to Jerusalem police, an Israeli and a Palestinian "got into an argument," and the Israeli opened fire, wounding the Palestinian. The gunman was arrested. Another person was lightly wounded.  


Meanwhile, Lebanon's Hizbullah movement offered on Sunday to trade Israeli captives in exchange for Palestinian fighters besieged by Israel. 


Hizbullah's al-Manar television said Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the party's leader, would exchange the prisoners for Palestinian assassins jailed in President Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound and other fighters trapped in the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. "Sheikh Nasrallah is willing to accept mediation from any party," al-Manar said. 


Israel's Defense ministry spokesman Yarden Vatikai rejected the Hizbullah proposal on Sunday saying, "It's not a serious proposal. It's a propaganda maneuver that we reject."  


He said the initiative by the Shi'ite group "reflects only Hizbullah's desire to get involved in the conflict."  


Hizbullah captured three Israeli soldiers in the foothills of the occupied Golan Heights in 2000 and another captive it described as an Israeli colonel who came to Beirut as a spy. 


Israel says the three soldiers are dead. Hizbullah refuses to give any information on their condition. 


Earlier in April, Hizbullah offered to make a swap involving Palestinian fighters surrounded in the Jenin refugee camp, which Israel later razed as part of its West Bank offensive that began on March 29. (

© 2002 Al Bawaba (

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