Palestinian forces arrest teenage girl

Palestinian security forces have arrested a teenage girl from the Gaza Strip who, they say, was planning a paramilitary strike against Israel.

    Palestinian security forces are
    now responsible for preventing
    resistance operations 

    The 18-year-old was detained near an area used by Palestinians to secretly cross into Israel, according to a spokesman for Major General Abd al-Razek al-Majaydeh. 

    She was later released to her family and then re-arrested for further questioning. 

    The spokesman said his forces started searching for the woman after she left a note to her family telling them about her intentions to carry out a resistance operation against Israelis.


    A belt loaded with explosives was found at the home of the

    unnamed woman.


    Information was not immediately available on whether the woman was affiliated with resistance groups that has declared a three-month truce last week, or if she was acting on her own, the spokesman said.


    More arrests


    Another five Palestinians were also arrested by the security forces in Gaza in separate incidents. 


    They included three armed men who were approaching the Israeli border when they were detained, a security official said.


    Security forces under al-Majaydeh’s command have taken control of the parts of the Gaza Strip that were evacuated by Israel last week.


    Israel also pulled out its troops from the southern West Bank town of Bethlehem.


    The Strip and the West Bank have been occupied illegally by Israel since 1967.


    The detentions came after Israel conditioned further withdrawals from Palestinian areas to the ability of Palestinian security forces to prevent resistance fighters from conducting operations against Israeli targets.

    Israel welcomed the Palestinian action.


    "The Palestinian Authority has begun dealing with the arrest of those planning terrorism," said Israeli Major-General Amos Gilad, who negotiated with Palestinians the Gaza-Bethlehem withdrawal.


    Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces seized 14 people in the West Bank towns of Jenin and Ram Allah, accusing them of belonging to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.


    They also surrounded a house in the town of Tobas, saying it belonged to a man from Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.


    Palestinians disappointed


    The detentions came a day after Israel ignored Palestinian demands to release all Palestinian detainees.


    The Israeli cabinet approved to release only 350 prisoners with a majority cabinet vote of 13 to 8.


    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged Israel on Monday to free Palestinian detainees to support a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups.


    "I hope that (the ceasefire) will succeed. I don't want to
    be pessimistic...but one has many doubts. I hope the Israeli
    government will cooperate and release the prisoners," said


    Egypt has played a major role in pushing Palestinian factions towards the ceasefire.  




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