Abbas tour prevented by Israeli tanks

A show of force by Israeli tanks prompted Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to cancel a planned tour of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.


    Israeli tanks in Beit Hanoun
    provoked anger from locals

    Witnesses said 15 tanks and three armoured bulldozers had taken up positions just inside the town, where the Israelis have made frequent attacks  targetting Palestinians.


    The Israelis say Beit Hanoun is used by the fighters to launch homemade rockets into southern Israel. 


    A Palestinian official said Abbas had called off the tour at the last minute because Israeli tanks had blocked the entrance to the town.

    The Palestinian prime minister was to visit Beit Hanoun to listen to citizens’ concerns after Israeli armoured forces tore up an orchard and demolished houses on the outskirts of the town.

    Israeli troops had earlier withdrawn from Beit Hanoun but returned after nightfall with 

    eight tanks and several bulldozers.


    They forced their way into orchards outside the town and set about razing them. Several houses were also demolished. 


    The attack on Beit Hanoun came against the backdrop of a continuing Israeli refusal to implement the internationally-sponsored “road map”, accepted by the Palestinian leadership.


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