Israel continues killing Palestinians as Olmert hints at further pullouts

Published February 8th, 2006 - 08:22 GMT

A Palestinian man belonging to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was killed on Wednesday by Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip near the Karni border crossing. Another member of the group was also wounded in the incident, according to Palestinian sources.


The Israeli military claimed that the soldiers who killed the man believed that he was in the process of planting a bomb in an area patrolled by Israel, according to Reuters.


Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group connected with the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud stated that the men belonged to them.

Israeli troops also arrested nine Palestinians on Wednesday in continued raids by Israel in the West Bank. Israeli sources revealed that five members of Hamas were arrested in Hebron, a member of the Tanzim faction was arrested in the town of Nablus, and three more men were arrested in the city of Ramallah.


Meanwhile, acting Israeli Prime Minister indicated that Israel would withdraw from more Palestinian territory in the future.


Using the Old Testament names for the West Bank, Olmert commented in a televised interview, “We will disengage from most of the Palestinian population that lives in Judea and Samaria,” he said according to the AP.


He also said that he was “not giving up” on the road map peace plan, which calls for negotiations with the Palestinians and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“We are going toward separation from the Palestinians,” he said. “We are going toward determining a permanent border for the state of Israel.”


Olmert added, however, that doing so would require that Israel maintain control over several major settlement areas, including Jerusalem and its suburbs. 


“That will obligate us to leave territories under Israeli control today,” he explained.


He also hinted that if no peace agreement could be reached with the Palestinians, Israel would unilaterally set its borders. 


Touring a settlement construction site outside of Jerusalem on Tuesday, Olmert said that the site's completion is imperative.


About three-fourths of Israel’s 244,000 West Bank settlers live in the areas Olmert delineated, according to estimates by Israel's leftist Peace Now group.


Annan says Israeli assassination policy constitutes execution without trial


Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinians constitutes "execution without trial" and unnecessarily risks the lives of innocent civilians,  according to Reuters.


He called on both Israelis and Palestinians to do what they could to ensure that innocent civilians on both sides are kept out of danger.


Olmert in recent days has given the Israeli military establishment almost complete freedom to assassinate any Palestinians connected to suicide bombings or Qassam rockets launches in Israel. He said that until such attacks against Israel cease, Israel would continue with its current policy.


According to Israel's intelligence sources, 12 planned suicide bombings were foiled by Israel in the course of eight days.

© 2006 Al Bawaba (

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