Top Hamas activist killed near Nablus; PA, Israeli teams meet in Jerusalem

Published August 14th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli troops that operated in the West Bank village of Tubas near Nablus, killed a senior Hamas activist, Palestinians sources said Wednesday afternoon. Soldiers surrounded a house in the town in which the wanted Palestinian, Nasser Jarar, was believed to be hiding. Shots were fired at the house and a bulldozer demolished part of the house, Israel Radio reported. 

 

Medical sources in Tubas said a head was found separated from its body.  

 

The Israeli army said in a statement that despite losing both legs and an arm when a bomb he was planting went off last year, Jarrar had been planning a "mega-attack" to blow up an Israeli high-rise. 

 

Later in the day, Israeli and Palestinian Authority teams, led by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PA Minister Saeb Erekat, met following the return of the Palestinian delegation from talks with U.S. officials in Washington.  

 

Prior to the renewal of the talks, Israel pledged to the PA that it would soon transfer two upcoming payments of frozen tax funds. The payments total NIS 70 million each and comprise 10 percent of the total amount Israel has withheld since shortly after the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000.  

 

Barrier 

The Israeli security cabinet Wednesday approved the route of the first phase of the barrier dividing Israel from the West Bank in an attempt to curb Palestinian attacks. The move was harshly condemned by the Palestinian Authority, with Minister Saeb Erekat saying that “Israel was trying to set up the world's biggest prison.”  

 

In its first stage, the barrier is to run 110-kilometers along the northern section of the West Bank border, from Kafr Salem in the north to Kafr Kassem in the south. Most of the suicide bombers who have entered Israel have come from the northern West Bank areas of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, and Qalqilyah, Haaretz reported.  

 

During the discussion, the Israeli prime minister spoke of the fence's importance in preventing “terrorists” from entering Israel.  

 

The agreed-upon route of the fence's initial phase places within the "Israel side" the settlements of Elkana, Alfei Menashe, Hinanit, Shaked, Mevo Dotan, Tzofim and Avnei Hefetz, Israel Radio said. It also includes the Palestinian village Baka el Sharkiya.  

 

Other incidents 

Elsewhere in the West Bank, suspected Palestinian collaborator killed in Tulkarem. Rami Sabih Inbawasi, 25, was shot dead by three men Tuesday night near the city's hospital. Palestinian sources said that the man was suspected of collaborating with Israel and of the killing of a senior Hamas activist in the city. The sources said he was kidnapped the previous night.  

 

Meanwhile, Israeli Border Policemen arrested Wednesday afternoon a Palestinian man carrying to fragmentation grenades at the entrance to Jerusalem from the direction of Abu Dis. Israeli soldiers arrested late Tuesday night three wanted Palestinians - two in Jenin and one near Ramallah.  

 

Hamas 

The spiritual leader and founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, rejected Wednesday calls to stop attacks in Israel. He laid down strict conditions for any ceasefire, including a halt to all Israeli attacks, a return to Israel's 1967 borders and the demolition of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.  

 

"The occupation must end, the occupiers must leave our land, back to the borders of 1967 in the Gaza Strip as well as in the West Bank," Yassin told The Der Tagesspiegel daily on Wednesday.  

 

"Only then can there be a ceasefire. And the settlements must be cleared, refugees allowed to return ... "When they stop attacks against our civilians, against our people, then we will not touch their civilians," he went on, while adding that "there are no civilians in Israel, they are all military, all occupiers." (Albawaba.com)  

© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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