[QODLink]
Middle East
Palestinians block Israeli air raid
Israel cancels air attack in Gaza after Palestinians form human shield.
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2006 13:21 GMT

People surrounded the threatened building
to prevent the air assault

The Israeli military abandoned a planned air strike on the home of a Palestinian fighter in Gaza after hundreds of Palestinians formed a human shield around the building.
Hundreds of people surrounded the home of Weil Baroud, a commander of the Popular Resistance Committees in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, after he was told by the Israeli army late on Saturday that the building was going to be bombed. He was given 30 minutes to leave.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that the raid had been called off because of the protest.
   
"The attack plan was cancelled because of the people there. We differentiate between innocent people and terrorists," he said.

Palestinian sources called the protest the first of its kind to have in effect prevented an air strike by the Israeli military.

Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, reported that it was the first time such an act has been seen in the Gaza Strip by residents.

Baroud is accused of firing home-made rockets at Israel. Crowds of people stood on the rooftop and in the garden of the home.

The Israeli spokesman said that his country would continue its attacks against fighters, and accused them of using the civilians in the camp as human shields.

Nizar Rayan, a local Hamas leader who joined the protest, said: "We came here to protect this fighter, to protect his house and to prove that we are capable of defeating this Zionist policy."

The crowd chanted anti-Israel and anti-American slogans, and people said they were prepared to give their lives to protect the home.

"Yes to martyrdom. No to surrender," the crowd chanted.

Israel routinely orders residents out of their homes before air attacks on  what it says are suspected weapons-storage facilities.

Odeh said: "This is a usual type of tactic from Israel in the Gaza Strip. They have been using it for months now. This is a type of psychological warfare.

"Weil Baroud is a member of a political faction that although not represented in parliament, does have a lot of support on the streets, especially in Gaza."

Source:
Aljazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.