10 Palestinians Killed in ‘Black Tuesday’
10 Palestinians Killed in ‘Black Tuesday’
Gaza’s Failed Assassination Attempt Sparks Domestic, Int’l Anger
Three Palestinians from the same family were killed Tuesday afternoon when Israeli Apache gunships fired several missiles at a car and a civilian building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya, a few hours after a failed assassination attempt on a top Hamas political leader in Gaza city, which left an elderly woman, and a man dead.
Three young Palestinians were killed and 17 other people were wounded when two Israeli helicopters fired missiles on a car near Jabalya and a civilian building, Palestinian security sources said.
Hamuda, Mohammad and Mariam Abed Rabbo, aged between 16 and 22, were killed when the first missile missed a car and hit a civilian building, the sources said. The other missile destroyed a nearby vehicle, causing injuries, the sources added.
The raid came just hours after a helicopter attack in Gaza City on the political leader of the Islamic group Hamas, Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, who escaped with injuries.
He was treated at the al-Shifa Hospital here for wounds to the left leg, arm and hand after the vehicle he was traveling in exploded in flames on a main street in Gaza.
Two people were killed and 27 others were injured in the attack, which was seen as a serious blow to efforts to move ahead with the internationally-adopted “roadmap” peace plan.
The victims were identified as Khadra Abu Hamada, a 50-year-old woman who was walking beside Rantisi’s car at the time of the attack, witnesses said.
The other victim was identified as Rantisi’s bodyguard. His identity is still unknown.
More Palestinians Killed in Gaza, West Bank
Earlier, in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, IOF soldiers shot dead one Palestinian identified as Jaser Hasanin, 26.
Another Palestinian was also killed Tuesday in the Gaza Strip.
Amjad al-Nabries, 22, was instantly killed after Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) shot him near the southern town of Khan Younis, Palestinian security and medical sources said.
Al-Nabrisi was the tenth Palestinian killed by IOF in the past twenty-four hours.
Earlier, IOF killed two Palestinians whom they claimed were trying to infiltrate the illegal Israeli settlement of “Netsarim”, south of Gaza city.
Another Palestinian was killed when IOF raided Kufur Rai village, south of the northern West Bank town of Jenin, Palestinian security sources said.
IOF soldiers surrounded and opened fire at a house in the village killing Imad Ibrahim, 35, and wounding another Palestinian identified as Waleed Ibrahim.
Domestic, International Anger Over Attack
The assassination attempt on Rantisi’s life was denounced as a “criminal and terrorist” act by the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, who also accused Israel of trying to destroy the “roadmap” to peace and to evade its commitments towards the peace plan.
Abbas said he had sent Washington an urgent message warning of the grave dangers for the peace process and demanding “immediate action by the United States to stop this serious deterioration.”
In Washington, President Bush was “deeply troubled” by the attack, the White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer said.
“The president is concerned that this strike will undermine efforts by Palestinian authorities to bring an end to terrorist attacks, and it does not contribute to the security Israel,” Mr. Fleischer added.
Attempt to Blow Up ‘ Roadmap’
Following the attack, Hamas issued a statement demanding Abbas “stop all contacts with the Zionist enemy, abandon the roadmap and confirm the right of our people to resist occupation.”
Palestinian officials said the failed attempt to kill Rantisi came at a time when Hamas was about to reach an agreement with Abbas to suspend its anti-Israeli attacks.
It also came on the eve of a visit by Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman to discuss a ceasefire deal, Palestinian culture minister Ziad Abu Amro said.
Suleiman was armed with an agreement by exiled Hamas leaders calling for a global ceasefire in Israel and the occupied territory for one year, said Hani al-Masri, an information ministry official.
“Before the attempt to assassinate Rantisi, there was a possibility of announcing this agreement in the coming days,” Masri said. “But the Israeli assassination attempt has put everybody back to square one.”