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Israeli Army Kills Five Palestinian Activists -Other stories

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  • Leonard Grossman
    Sunday July 29 9:16 PM ET http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010729/ts/mideast_lea dall_dc_149.html Israeli Army Kills Five Palestinian Activists (Reuters) By
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2001
      Sunday July 29 9:16 PM ET


      Israeli Army Kills Five Palestinian Activists
      (Reuters) By Atef Sa'ed

      NABLUS, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli tank fire killed five
      Palestinians on Israel's most wanted list in an attack on a
      house in the West Bank on Monday, Palestinian officials

      The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the incident,
      described by an official from Palestinian President Yasser
      Arafat (news - web sites)'s Fatah (news - web sites) faction,
      to which the five belonged, as an assassination.

      The bloodshed came hours after a day of violence at
      Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site ended without loss of
      life, with Israel and the Palestinians scoring their political
      points and retiring from the arena.

      Palestinian security officials said Israeli tank shells
      slammed into a house in the West Bank village of Fara, near
      the Jewish settlement of Alon Moreh and about 15 miles
      from the Palestinian-ruled city of Jenin, killing the five men.
      The officials identified them as Maher Jarabwe, 24,
      Abdel-Rahman Ishtawe, 24, Hikmat Abu al-Hubal, 27,
      Taie, 18, and Amin al-Malek, age unknown.

      ``It was an Israeli assassination,'' the Fatah official said
      about the night-time attack.

      All five were members of Fatah's al-Aqsa brigade, which has
      been active in fighting during the 10-month-old Palestinian
      uprising for independence, the officials said.

      The Fatah official, who asked not to be identified, said
      the men had been on Israel's most wanted list.
      Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have killed more
      than 40 Palestinian activists in ``assassination'' operations
      since the start of the uprising.

      Israeli leaders describe such killings as ``active defense''
      against Palestinians who plan or carry out attacks on

      Funerals for the five men were to held later on Monday,
      gatherings likely to showcase Palestinian calls for revenge
      unravel even more a threadbare U.S.-brokered cease-fire.


      In Jerusalem on Sunday, plans by a radical Jewish group,
      the Temple Mount Faithful, to lay a cornerstone for a Third
      Jewish Temple at the Old City compound revered by Jews
      Muslims, was the spark that lit an always short fuse in the
      holy city.
      Palestinians on the mount, the Muslims' al-Haram al-Sharif
      (Noble Sanctuary), rained stones down on Jewish
      worshippers at
      the adjacent Western Wall, a perimeter wall of the two
      that stood at the site during biblical times.
      Israeli police stormed the compound -- where the first
      clashes of the Palestinian uprising began last September --
      fired no live ammunition.
      Witnesses said police used rubber-coated metal bullets,
      stun grenades, teargas and clubs instead to push hundreds
      protesters into al-Aqsa mosque. Thirty-five Palestinians and
      policemen were hurt in the violence, which ended at

      Under an agreement mediated by an Israeli Arab legislator,
      police reinforcements left and the protesters went home.
      In the context of the last 10 months of bloodletting, in which
      more than 600 people, mainly Palestinians, have been
      killed, restraint seemed to be the order of the day -- and
      every side made its point. The Temple Mount Faithful got the
      publicity it sought when television cameras captured the
      4.5-ton cornerstone on a flatbed truck.

      In reality, the mount was not on its delivery route.
      Israel's High Court banned the ceremony there and police
      notice they would not let the Faithful ascend. The group
      gathered instead, with its stone, outside the Old City walls.
      Palestinians, who accuse Israel of ``Judaising'' the Arab
      eastern part of Jerusalem occupied in the 1967 Middle East
      used rocks of their own to vent their anger and stake a claim
      to the holy site and its al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock

      Israeli police, by pouring reinforcements on to the mount
      to beat back the crowd, showed that Israel would not give
      Palestinians free rein at the mosque compound.

      Summing up the day, Israeli opposition leader Yossi Sarid,
      head of the left-wing Meretz party, said in exasperation:
      ``We are surrounded by crazy people from all sides.''


      Muslim leaders had called on their faithful to come to the
      shrine to protect the mosque compound with their bodies if
      the cornerstone was brought in.

      Palestinian leaders had warned of clashes similar to those
      that erupted after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news -
      web sites) visited
      the site last September when he was opposition leader.
      Raanan Gissin, a Sharon aide, accused the Palestinian
      leadership of deliberately fanning tensions in Jerusalem.

      ``There was no need and no reason for this kind of
      violence...except for the fact that it was incited and
      developed by the Palestinian Authority (news - web sites)
      (news Web sites) as
      another desperate means to try and create trouble and create
      violence at this very, very holy site,'' Gissin told Reuters.
      The Palestinian Authority, in a statement, said it held the
      Israeli government responsible for the ``barbaric attack''' by
      police on al-Haram al-Sharif.

      It said international efforts had ``persuaded Israel to end
      the police siege'' of al-Aqsa.

      While the drama unfolded at the shrine, a car bomb blew up
      in an underground car park in Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish
      settlement which Israel regards as a neighborhood of
      Jerusalem, police said.

      The blast caused damage but no injuries. Police said only
      some of the explosives in the car detonated.
      At least 498 Palestinians, 130 Israelis and 13 Israeli
      Arabs have been killed since the uprising flared after peace
      talks stalled.
      Leonard Grossman
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