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15 killed - and not by an uncontrolled militia

Fifteen Palestinians killed - and not by an uncontrolled militia

When the most mainstream man of Israel, newsreader Chaim Yavin, asks whether our army is perhaps exaggerating its use of violence - then it means that probably more people are starting to see through Sharon's way of "fighting terrorism" - that he is not fighting it, but on the contrary making sure it won't stop. As long as there are terrorist attacks Sharon does not have to make the "painful concessions" to which he pretends to be willing. And as long as Sharon has a partner on the other side such as Hamas - a partner who may have similar motives - Israelis and Palestinians who want to move towards peace are held hostage.

The Ha'aretz report now on the website ( ) reports the sad harvest of this day - 20 houses destroyed and 15 (!) Palestinians dead, among them young children; also the Haaretz report shows some reservation ["The intensive IDF operations, including incursions into den sely populated areas of the Gaza Strip, are continuing despite the establishment of a new Palestinian go vernment and the long-awaited presentation of the "road map" this week."] . The military did probably not expect such criticism while on the pages of the same day's printed press there were still the pictures of the victims of the suicide attack in the Tel-Aviv cafe, of the day before.

Could it be that this is the little bit (very little indeed) which has been won?

Haaretz internet edition 15 Palestinians killed in Gaza, West Bank; 8 IDF troops hurt By Arnon Regular and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters Fifteen Palestinians were killed in Israel Defense Forces operations in the West Bank and Gaza Stri p on Thursday. Thirteen of the fatalities, including a two-year-old toddler, and eight soldiers were inj ured in a raid on the Sajayia neighborhood of Gaza City. Israeli tanks backed by helicopters raided the area after midnight and laid siege to the house of the family of a senior Hamas military leader, Yusuf Abu Hin. Three broth ers belonging to Hamas are currently holed up inside the house. Soldiers called on family members inside to leave the house, but they refused, witnesses said. The toddler was named as Amer Ayad. He was struck by a bullet to th e head. A 13-year-old boy was also killed in the raid. Fifteen Palestinians were wounded, witnesses and docto rs said. Three soldiers who sustained moderate wounds in the battle were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be' er Sheva, while five lightly wounded soldiers were treated at Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon. At the souther n end of the Gaza Strip, IDF troops searched for tunnels used for smuggling weapons in Rafah. Unlike previous operati ons in Rafah, the Palestinians mounted little resistance. The IDF said it demolished a number of abandoned home s adjacent to the Egyptian border. Palestinian sources said that 20 homes were destroyed.

Soldiers shoot dead two armed Palestinians near Hebron

In the West Bank, the IDF shot dead two armed Palestinians in Yata, south of Hebron. Two other gunm en with managed to flee. According to Palestinian sources, one of the men killed in Yata was Khaled Makha mra, a top leader in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the military wing of the Fatah movement. The other man ki lled in the clash was a Palestinian policeman, the sources said. One of the two gunman who escaped was also a p oliceman and was injured in the exchange of gunfire, according to these sources. The IDF also arrested 12 wanted men in operations in Nablus, Qalqiliyah, Hebron and Bethlehem. In Beit Sira, just over the Green Line ne ar the city of Modi'in, the IDF demolished the home of a Tanzim militia leader responsible for killing three membe rs of a family driving on the Jerusalem-Modi'in road (443) in August 2001 and the murder of another Israeli near R amot a month later. The intensive IDF operations, including incursions into densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip, are continuing despite the establishment of a new Palestinian government and the long-awaited presentation of the "road map" this week.

IDF reservists arrest Palestinians carrying explosive device

IDF reservists on Thursday foiled a terror attack when stopped a vehicle next to Palestinian villag e of Akrabe, which is next to Nablus, in which two Palestinians were traveling in possession with a 10-kilogram explosive device, Army Radio reported. The explosive device was safely detonated with no injuries. The two Palestinians were arrested and taken in for questioning.

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