Palestinian Gunmen Say They Trap 14 Israel Soldiers

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 22:56:22 -0000

February 28, 2002 5:45 am EST 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinian gunmen trapped up to 14 Israeli
soldiers at a school in the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank
Thursday during fierce fighting following an Israeli raid, one of the
gunmen said. 
Asked about the report, an Israeli military source said the army had no
information about the incident. "We would expect to, if it was
happening," the source said. 

The gunman, contacted by mobile telephone at the camp near the northern
West Bank city of Nablus, said the fighters had surrounded the troops. 
"We're surrounding them in the school and we have refused all appeals by
the Palestinian Authority to release them," the gunman, who asked not to
be identified by name, said. 

Other Palestinian sources at the camp said the troops were under siege
at a United Nations-run secondary school. An Israeli Apache helicopter
had fired on the fighters blocking them, wounding one gunman, the
sources said. 
One of the sources said the soldiers numbered 12 to 14 and were wearing
black, indicating they were special forces. 

At least eight Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed Thursday
when Israeli forces raided Balata and another refugee camp in the
northern West Bank town of Jenin. 

The army said the raids were designed to flush out "terrorists." The
Palestinian Authority accused Israel of mounting the assault so as to
scupper a Saudi initiative to end 17 months of Israeli-Palestinian
violence. 

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