Lethal Israeli raid on Nablus

Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians during a raid into the West Bank city of Nablus, one man being shot nine times in the chest.

    On average, three Palestinians are shot each day

    Palestinian hospital sources identified one 25-year-old victim on Thursday morning as Ala al-Din Dawaya. 

    Dawaya, a bakery worker, was shot in the chest nine times along with three others whose identities are not yet known, the sources said.

    Our correrspondent added Israeli occupation forces shot the four as they were looking for "wanted activists". 

    The Israeli army also confirms that troops killed four Palestinians during the night, claiming one of them was a member of the Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

     

    A military commander identified only as Lieutenant Colonel Avi said forces also captured a "would-be suicide bomber" who he claims was apparently planning to head towards Israel on Thursday.

    Teenager shot

    Earlier, a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli troops in the impoverished Palestinian refugee camp of Rafah.

    Palestinian medics on Wednesday named the teenager as Mustafa al-Hams, saying he had been shot in the head when Israeli troops opened fire on the camp.

    An occupation force spokesman said troops were taking protective measures following an attempt to "sabotage" a position with "two powerful explosive devices hidden inside a tunnel."

    There was no report of casualties on the Israeli side.

    The latest shooting brings the number of the intifada dead to 3648. Beginning in September 2000, three quarters of intifada fatalities have been Palestinian.

    Peace process considerations

    Israeli troops maintain a curfew in
    the Balata Palestinian camp

    The shooting comes as German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer makes a visit to Jerusalem.
      
    Germany is frustrated with the Palestinian President Yasir Arafat for failing to carry out his promises to make big concessions while under siege in Ram Allah.

    The German foreign minister will not meet Arafat on this trip, unlike in April, as Israel has a policy of refusing to meet officials who have met with Arafat on the same trip.
      
    Criticism

    Fischer also criticised Israel's plans to continue building a wall around the West Bank as a major obstacle to peace.

    "The present course of the fence is .... barely understandable from a security point of view. It is precisely this fact that attracts very serious criticism."

    However, Arial Sharon insisted that he remains committed to the road map although he is sure Palestinians will not fulfil their side of the bargain.
      
    Terror built fence

    He defended the barrier. "Who built the fence? Terror built the fence," he told Fischer.

    Palestinians fear the fence, coupled with hints that Sharon may announce unilateral withdrawals, is an attempt to pre-empt the borders of their future state.

    Even Israel's closest ally, the United States, has warned against such action.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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