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Israeli Army Kills 14 in Gaza

by Haithem El-Zabri Thursday, Feb. 12, 2004 at 5:59 PM
haithem@solidaritydesign.com 4750 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey

Israeli aggression on Gaza City and Rafah claims the lives of 14 Palestinians

----- Original Message -----

From: ALAQSA INTIFADA . org

Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 9:30 AM

Subject: Israeli Army Kills 14 in Gaza



Fourteen Palestinians killed in Israeli Aggression on Gaza

by Alaqsaintifada.org*, February 11th, 2004



The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) today launched ferocious attacks on Gaza City and Rafah, killing 14 Palestinians. The assaults were the deadliest in Gaza since 14 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike in October.



The death toll since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising for liberation, Alaqsa Intifada, in September 2000, has climbed to 3759, including 2816 Palestinians and 875 Israelis.



Gaza City



The fiercest fighting occurring in the Al-Shojaiya neighborhood, in the eastern part of Gaza City, where it erupted at 5:00 a.m. and continued for several hours.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, an undercover unit of Israeli occupying forces moved into Al-Shojaiya, exchanging fire with a Palestinian security post and killing Mohammed Kamal Abu ‘Armana, 22, and injuring 2 other Palestinian security men.



A few minutes later, the IOF, reinforced by heavy military vehicles and covered by intense shelling, moved further into Al-Shojaiya neighborhood. Backed by military vehicles, the IOF surrounded a house belonging to the family of Ashraf Abu Hassanain, 22, who was reportedly wanted by the IOF. Israeli soldiers ordered the 3 families (17 people) living in the house out, and opened fire at the house in which Ashraf and 2 of his colleagues were hiding. Ashraf and his colleagues returned fire, and Israeli forces then destroyed the house with the 3 men inside. When the IOF withdrew from the neighborhood, the bodies of Ashraf and his two colleagues – Ayman Nasser al-Sheikh Khalil, 22, and Mohammed al-Hayek, 25 – were found near the house. Reports indicate that some of the residents were arrested.



During the fighting, dozens of young men stood in the streets watching as gunfire whizzed by. Masked gunmen took up positions in front of a building and ordered civilians out of the area. At one point, a gunman picked up a young schoolboy by his backpack and whisked him out of the battle zone.



By the end of the raid, twelve people were killed, including Mohammed Hilles, 18, the son of Ahmed Hilles, the top leader of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction in Gaza, and senior Hamas activist Hani Abu Skhaila. Hamas said Abu Skhaila survived two previous Israeli attempts to kill him, including a June missile strike on his car in which he suffered shrapnel wounds.

More than 50 Palestinians were wounded, nine of them in critical condition, Palestinian doctors said. Almost half of the wounded are children.



There were no reports of Israeli casualties. After the fighting subsided, three small rockets were fired into Israel, causing no damage, Israel Army radio reported.



Rafah





At 4:00 a.m., more than 10 IOF tanks and several armored bulldozers, reinforced by helicopters, moved into Block J of the Rafah refugee camp. They moved forward towards Abu Baker al-Siddiq Street, which links Rafah refugee camp and Tal al-Sultan neighborhood. Israeli forces closed the road and took up positions on the roofs of a number of houses, opening fire at the street below.

A Palestinian civilian, Ibrahim Mohammed Zo’rob, 27, was killed by a live bullet in the head while he was standing on the balcony of his house, and Muhammed Tantawi, 17, was killed by a bullet in the chest. In addition, 7 civilians, including 3 children, were injured. Two of the injured were described as being in a serious condition.



The IOF have so far maintained their presence in the area, opening fire sporadically in the neighbourhood. The IOF also demolished three houses and razed citrus and olive groves, claiming that they were searching for tunnels used to smuggle arms.



Rafah is the small town on the Gaza-Egypt border where American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer that purposely ran her over in March 2003 while she was trying to defend a Palestinian home. Thousands of homes have been demolished during ongoing raids and the lives of the inhabitants of Rafah are under continuous disruption and danger.



"We are talking about a tragedy of a very grave magnitude. The Israeli army uses strategies that result in the area looking like the aftermath of a powerful earthquake," said Aljazeera correspondent.



Late last month, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian civilian woman during a massive invasion into Rafah. Another five civilians, including teenagers, were injured, according to witnesses and medical sources. A day before that, Israeli bulldozers demolished a mosque and 13 Palestinian homes in a similar raid.



Palestinian Reaction



The latest Israeli raids have provoked an angry reaction from Palestinian negotiations minister Saib Ereikat, who is currently in Italy with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya, to rally opposition to Israel's controversial separation barrier.



"We strongly condemn this aggression, this massacre, while efforts are being made to revive the peace process," Ereikat told AFP by phone from Rome. "We urgently call on the quartet to come forward and work on pushing the peace process forward," he said.



Meanwhile, Hamas has vowed strong retaliation. The group's militant wing called on all of its cells to carry out "huge martyrdom operations," saying "all options are open."



Israel and the United States



Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon again stated that he will take unilateral steps if the peace process does not move forward. His plan includes completing the Apartheid Wall and possibly removing 17 of the 20 illegal settlements in the Gaza Strip. Troops would still be positioned in the Gush Katif block of settlements in Gaza, the Ha'aretz newspaper reported Wednesday.



The Bush administration and Israel's Military Intelligence yesterday issued concurrent statements warning that Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza could be interpreted by Palestinian militants as a victory for terrorism, and will strengthen Hamas.



In other news …



In preparation for the upcoming deliberation about Israel’s Apartheid Wall at the International Court of Justice later this month, an Israeli organization has secured approval for transporting an exploded Israeli bus to the Hague. The Jerusalem bus number 19, that was blown up on January 29th, has been selected for the purpose. A Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people aboard that bus during morning rush hour. Because of the tight timetable, the hulk of the bus will be cut in two and sent by air.



Israel's Foreign Ministry public relations wizards have also come up with another idea to tone down the damage to Israel's public image from the separation fence: paint it in gay colors. A Foreign Ministry official said Sunday that the “Palestinians use the fence for propaganda… A colorfully painted barrier would be more aesthetic, resulting in less damage to Israel’s public image.”



* Based on reports from Aljazeera, Associated Press, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (Gaza), and Ma'ariv.



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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Would any of those killed have been... ;lkjl;khkjh Thursday, Feb. 12, 2004 at 10:50 PM
reap what you sow TheTroll Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 12:41 AM
up TheTroll Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 12:46 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 1:20 AM
fresca fresca Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 2:22 AM
fresca fresca Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 2:26 AM
HMMMMM mymicz Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 3:50 AM
That's right mymicz Barney Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 8:08 AM
Chicken Boy ;lkhlkjhgjhg Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 10:57 AM
Da. Ivan Badanov Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 1:27 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 at 8:23 PM
fresca fresca Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 12:20 AM
Y'know, Chicken Boy... ;lk;lk;lkh Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 2:49 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 5:26 PM
An unwritten SOP? l;;lk;lkh;lk Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 5:34 PM
noncombatants Ivan Badanov Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 6:30 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 8:19 PM
Yeah, that's what I thought, Chicken Boy. lkjhjhghf Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at 11:12 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2004 at 4:48 PM

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