Israel kills teenager in Rafah raid

A 16-year-old Palestinian has been shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in the southern Gaza Strip, according to local medical sources. 

Israeli raids on the refugee camp are backed by tanks as usual
Israeli raids on the refugee camp are backed by tanks as usual

Aljazeera’s correspondent reported that two other Palestinians were wounded when Israeli occupation forces, backed by Apache helicopters, raided the Salam quarter in the sprawling Rafah refugee camp on Thursday.  

The latest Israeli attacks came as Palestinian legislators focused on the issue of reform within President Yasir Arafat’s government.

The teenager, who was identified as Ahmad al-Hams, was killed when Israeli troops backed by tanks raided the Rafah refugee camp on the border with Egypt, Palestinian medical sources said.

Aljazeera’s correspondent added that Israeli forces demolished three houses, a factory and a coffee shop during the operation.

More attacks

Israel says its forces are hunting for tunnels that fighters have burrowed to smuggle in arms from neighbouring Egypt.

Israeli forces have repeatedly raided Rafah to destroy homes and shops in recent months despite international criticism of its demolition policy.

Home demolitions have wreakedhavoc on Rafah refugees’ lives

Home demolitions have wreaked
havoc on Rafah refugees’ lives

On Wednesday, Israel Air Force helicopters fired two missiles at two buildings in Gaza City after nightfall.

There were no injuries, but witnesses said a building in the Zaitun neighbourhood was set alight.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank Israeli forces have imposed a curfew on the Old City of Nablus and the adjoining Ain al-Maa refugee camp for the fourth consecutive day. 

Aljazeera’s correspondent said Israeli forces on Thursday dynamited a number of houses and shops and turned one of the schools into a detention centre in which they were holding many residents of the refugee camp. 

Journalists have been barred by the Israeli military from entering Ain al-Maa camp, but witnesses have described the humanitarian situation there as tragic, the correspondent said.

Motion rejected

Against this backdrop of continuing Israeli incursions, Palestinian deputies have narrowly rejected a motion calling for a suspension of parliament until veteran leader Yasir Arafat follows reform pledges with firm action. 

Arafat is being pressed to followup reform pledges with action

Arafat is being pressed to follow
up reform pledges with action

The motion, filed by 13 MPs, called for an indefinite suspension until Arafat followed up his recent admission of abuses by his Palestinian Authority with written commitments for reform.

It was rejected by 24 votes to 23 on Thursday.

Abbas Zaki, a member of Arafat’s Fatah movement, said parliament had instead agreed to adjourn until Tuesday to allow for further discussions with Arafat. 

“The speech yesterday had some positive positions about reforms and for that we will continue our discussions in a very deep way,” he told Aljazeera. 

The 75-year-old Arafat has been facing mounting calls for reform of his administration amid rampant corruption and a breakdown in security, illustrated last month by an unprecedented spate of kidnappings and arson attacks on government buildings. 

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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