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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Airstrikes, Rockets End Lull in Gaza, Israeli occupation army kidnaps 13 Palestinian civilians from Nablus

Airstrikes, Rockets End Lull in Gaza

Hisham Abu Taha, Arab News  

GAZA CITY, 14 March 2008 —

Israel resumed its air raids on the Gaza Strip yesterday as Hamas launched a volley of homemade rockets into southern Israel in retaliation for the killing of four Palestinians in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Wednesday.

Israeli warplanes targeted a group of Palestinians in the north of the Gaza Strip but there were no injuries, medical sources said.

Israeli military sources said that the airstrike targeted a loaded rocket launcher. They added that the warplanes carried out the raid after rockets fired by Palestinians hit the town of Sderot.

The renewed tit-for-tat attacks put at risk international efforts to broker a more permanent deal to end the violence and the isolation around the impoverished territory. They also come a day before the Israelis and Palestinians are to meet with a US general to resume peace talks that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended amid a week of strikes in Gaza that killed more than 130 Palestinians.

After the Bethlehem raid, the Palestinian presidency accused Israel of “barbaric crimes” in a rare harshly worded statement. “These barbaric crimes reveal the true face of Israel, which speaks loudly about peace and security while committing murders and executions against our people,” it said.

And the Israeli occupation government said it held Hamas responsible for the rocket fire even though the Islamic Jihad group claimed the salvoes.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad vowed revenge after the Bethlehem deaths.

Peace Talks in Jeopardy

Israel, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad had been observing a tacit truce in and around the Gaza Strip since early Saturday as Egypt seeks to work out a more permanent deal.

Egypt has been holding talks aimed at ending Israeli strikes on Gaza, rocket fire into Israel and a lifting of the crippling regime of Israeli and international sanctions on the coastal strip.

Today, Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are to meet with Lt. Gen. William Fraser, appointed in January to oversee compliance with the 2003 international road map to peace blueprint.

Israeli occupation army kidnaps 13 Palestinian civilians from Nablus

Thursday March 13, 2008 11:03 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli occupation army invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus and nearby refugee camps, then kidnapped 13 Palestinian civilians on Thursday at dawn.

Local sources said that the soldiers searched and ransacked homes in Nablus city, the nearby Al-'Ain refugee camp as well as Askar refugee camp. Troops left there at around 8:00 am and took with them 13 civilians to unknown locations.

Among those kidnapped were Asa'ad Soulaibi, 26; Jihad Al-Wadi, 20; Amjad Al-Nadi, 26; and Mohamed Al-Nadi, 28.


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