In the Balata refugee camp outside of the West Bank town of Nablus, Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinians and seriously injured a third late on Wednesday, according to hospital sources.
The two men killed were identified as members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian President Yasir Arafat’s Fatah movement.
Early on Thursday Israeli tanks and jeeps rumbled into the West Bank city of Ram Allah, where troops dynamited a two-storey family home.
Then soldiers ordered civilians to evacuate a three-storey house, apparently as a precursor to destroying it.
A Palestinian fighter resists Israeli
According to our correspondent, these were the houses of Imad Sharif, a Hamas member, and Mohammed Masalha, an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member.
Israeli occupation forces patrolled the city, focussing on Arafat’s headquarters.
In the town of Tulkaram, occupation forces stormed a hospital, seizing documents and computers, according to a Palestinian security source.
The soldiers raided the al-Zakat Hospital run by a local Islamic group. An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the raid had occurred, claiming material inciting resistance attacks were taken away.
Elsewhere Israeli tanks invaded the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza Strip, demolishing 15 homes, said Palestinian security sources.
Troops were backed by armoured vehicles and bulldozers before withdrawing from the area.
The increased violence came after a fumbled Israeli assassination attempt against a Hamas activist in Gaza City left three Palestinian civilians killed.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which was to have seen Ahmed Quraya installed as prime minister on Thursday morning, has been postponed until Saturday, a senior parliamentary official said in Ramallah.
“The meeting of the Legislative Council which was to be held today has been postponed until Saturday,” PLC secretary Ruhi Fatuh told Palestinian radio.
“Some members have not been given permission (to travel to the parliament in Ramallah from the Gaza Strip)”
Ibrahim Abu Naja
“Some members have not been given permission (to travel to the parliament in Ramallah from the Gaza Strip) and there is some problems over the names of the ministers,” said deputy speaker Ibrahim Abu Naja.
Sources close to Quraya said a nine-member emergency cabinet was to have been named.
Outgoing prime minister Mahmud Abbas’ security chief Muhammad Dahlan is included in the planned line-up, even though he had previously indicated he would not serve in a government not headed by Abbas.
Dahlan is regarded by many members of the mainstream Fatah movement as being too close to the United States.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee and the Fatah central committee were also to meet here on Thursday morning.