Israel intensifies refugee camp raids

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 14:24:23 -0000

 Israeli tanks in Balata camp
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1845000/images/_1848810_tanks_balata_ap30
0.jpg> 
 
Israel says the camps are a hotbed of terrorism

Israeli forces have pushed deeper into a Palestinian refugee camp in the
West Bank as a major offensive against Palestinian militants
intensified. 

Soldiers clashed with Palestinian gunmen as troops entered the camp in
Jenin from the north and south. 



  <http://news.bbc.co.uk/furniture/startquote.gif> 


This is for the sake of our way of life here, in malls, in cities, in
streets 
  <http://news.bbc.co.uk/furniture/endquote.gif> 


Tzachi Hanegbi, Israeli cabinet minister 
Palestinian sources said three Palestinians were killed in fighting in
Jenin on Friday and that a seven-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by
Israeli gunfire in a village in the northern Gaza Strip. 


The Israeli action comes a day after 13 Palestinians and an Israeli
soldier died in fierce battles on the outskirts of Jenin and in the
Balata refugee camp near Nablus. 


Israel said the campaign was aimed at crushing the Palestinian
militants' infrastructure in the camps, where many recent suicide
bombers have come from. 




 
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1845000/images/_1845974_israel_jenin_bala
ta_150map.gif> 
"This is for the sake of our way of life here, in malls, in cities, in
streets," Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel army
radio. 

The incursions marked the first time that Israel has stormed refugee
camps since fighting erupted in September 2000. 


House-to-house 


As Israeli tanks and ground troops moved into the crowded 19,000-strong
Jenin camp, mosques called on residents to confront the troops. 




 Balata refugee camp
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1845000/images/_1848181_balata_ap150.jpg>

It is the deepest incursion into camps since fighting began

Shami Shami, a leader of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement in Jenin, said
300 gunmen had joined the fighting. 


"The gunmen are shooting at the tanks and others are throwing homemade
grenades," he told Associated Press news agency. 


Less than 30 kilometres (20 miles) away, in Balata, Israeli soldiers
searching for militants and arms caches moved from house-to-house,
blowing holes through the walls to avoid going outside and exposing
themselves to gunmen. 


Palestinian militants responded by firing two mortars and gun shots at
Gilo, a settlement on the outskirts of Jerusalem which the Israelis view
as a suburb of the city, wounding three Israelis. 


Protests 


Palestinian officials have accused Israel of trying to sabotage a Saudi
peace initiative, which was presented to the United Nations hours
earlier. 




 Flare lights sky near Balata
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1845000/images/_1848181_nablus_ap150.jpg>

Thirteen Palestinians and an Israeli were killed in Thursday's fighting

West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti called on Palestinians to stage
widespread protests Friday "against the Israeli massacres of our
people". 

The United States on Thursday called on Israel to exercise the "utmost
restraint", while United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan called on
Israel to "withdraw immediately from the camps". 


The Israeli offensive came after a female Palestinian suicide bomber
blew herself up at a checkpoint on the border between the West Bank and
Israel on Wednesday, wounding three Israeli policemen.

Source: BBC ============================================================

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