IDF kills five Gaza activists in car blast
- IDF kills five Gaza activists in car blast
By Amos Harel and Amira Hass
Five Palestinians were killed yesterday in the Gaza Strip when the car in which they were traveling
exploded on the road between Khan Yunis and Rafah. The Israeli defense establishment refused to
comment officially on the incident, but security sources confirmed that the men had been the target
of an Israel Defense Forces operation.
The five were identified as Ibrahim Jarbu'a and Mohammed Abu Sneime, of the Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine; Majid Muamar, a member of Hamas; Ayman Buhaderi, of the People's Party; and
Nasser Abu Idra, a Fatah activist.
Salah Zidan, a senior member of the DFLP in the Strip, said that the assassination of the five was
proof that the recent political talks between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and senior members of the
Palestinian Authority had not changed a thing and that Sharon was only using them to stave off
international pressure. The organization has vowed to avenge the killings.
The incident occurred at around 9 A.M., on the stretch of road between the Sufa roadblock and Rafah.
Four of the occupants of the car were killed instantly in the explosion; the fifth was evacuated to
a hospital in the Gaza Strip in critical condition and died yesterday evening from his injuries.
Palestinian eyewitnesses reported seeing two Israel Air Force helicopters and a drone hovering over
the area at the time of the incident, but based on the findings at the scene, it appears that the
blast was caused by an explosive device that was in the vehicle itself.
According to members of the PA's security forces who conducted an investigation at the scene of the
explosion, the five, all of whom had been involved in hostile activities against Israel in the past,
had been armed with pistols and rifles.
Nabil Abu-Rudeineh, an adviser to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, blamed the IDF for
the attack and called on the United States to restrain Israel's aggression, while Arafat said the
operation had shown that Israel was not interested in restoring quiet, but in military escalation.
Despite the lack of an immediate Palestinian reaction to the incident, the IDF believes that the
DFLP will attempt to carry out revenge attacks against Israeli targets in the Strip in the coming
Elsewhere in the territories yesterday, an Israeli Arab from Umm al-Fahm was moderately to seriously
injured in a roadside shooting attack south of the Shaked settlement in the Jenin area. Ghaslan
Mahjana, a researcher for the B'Tselem human rights group, was traveling in car bearing Israeli
license plates when he came under fire directed from a Palestinian vehicle at the side of the road.
Mahjana was treated at the scene by an IDF medical team and then transferred to Ha'emek Hospital in
Palestinian sources reported that three factories in the Jabalya refugee camp in the Strip had been
damaged early yesterday morning after being hit by four Israeli missiles. The sources said that the
factories damaged included a large joinery that was completely burned out, a large sewing workshop
that was also destroyed and a metal-painting plant.
The sources added that residences near the factories had also been damaged as a result of the blast
and the thick smoke.
Israeli sources said that the target of the missile attack had been a mortar-manufacturing plant.
An IDF soldier was lightly injured yesterday afternoon in an exchange of gunfire with Palestinians
close to the Neveh Dekalim settlement in the Katif Bloc, while a second soldier was lightly injured
after being hit in the head by a rock in Ramallah.
Two explosive devices were discovered and defused by IDF sappers in the area of Tul Karm in the West
Bank; a third device was neutralized near Rafah in the Strip.
Shooting incidents without Israeli casualties occurred yesterday in Tul Karm, Dolev (west of
Ramallah), along the Tunnel Road in the Bethlehem area, south of Hebron, at Gadid and Ganei Tal in
the Katif Bloc, and in Rafah.
An Egged bus came under gunfire yesterday evening close to the neighborhood of Issawiye in East
Jerusalem. The No. 174 bus was traveling along the Jerusalem-Ma'aleh Adumim road and was empty at
the time of the incident. This was the first time that Israeli vehicles traveling in the area have
come under live fire from the direction of Issawiye, although there have been incidents involving
stones and Molotov cocktails in the past.