Israel mounts attacks in West Bank, Gaza

An Israeli helicopter attacked an area near the Blata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank following clashes with Palestinian resistance fighters.

    Muhammad Rajah, 14, is the latest victim of Israeli violence

    Palestinian activists tossed an explosive device at an Israeli tank in al-Quds street near the camp, located near the city of Nablus, said our correspondent.

    There were no casualties on either side.

    Israeli forces swooped down on the area before closing it off.

    Israel has launched at least six helicopter attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, killing 11 Hamas activists and at least five civilians over the past two weeks.

    In the town of Bait Farikh, also near Nablus, Israeli gunfire seriously injured two Palestinian schoolboys aged 12 and 14.

    Occupation forces also attacked a Palestinian security site late on Tuesday in Dair al-Balah in the occupied Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian security officials.

    Soldiers closed the Salah Iddin highway, a main route linking the northern Gaza Strip to the southern sector.

    Internal tensions

    On the diplomatic front, Palestinian President Yasir Arafat chaired a meeting of the PLO’s Executive Committee, aimed at easing tensions with his prime minister Mahmud Abbas.

    Abbas and Arafat have been engaged in a power struggle over control of Palestinian security services, as the veteran president struggles to cement his position.

    The premier will present a report of his achievements since taking office to the Palestinian Legislative Council this week, in an attempt to boost his standing, said our correspondent.

    The US and Israel have sidelined Arafat over Abbas during the current peace process, aimed at ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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