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Israel's Persistent Assassinations Ruins Roadmap

Israel Persists in Assassinations: Girl, Man Killed in Gaza Air Raid
‘Sharon Wants to Ruin any Chance to Implement the Roadmap’: Abu Rudeinah

Israel scored another blow to reaching a truce announcement by Palestinian factions after an Israeli Apache helicopter carried out an air strike, killing two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including a 17-year-old teenager.

An Israeli helicopter gunship fired two missiles at a vehicle east of the southern city of Khan Yunis, killing the girl and a 33-year-old man, Palestinian medical and security sources said.

Akram Abu Fahran, 33, was killed when the missiles slammed into his taxi as he made his way back from Gaza City, security and medical sources said.

Nevine Abu Rejilah, a 17-year-old student who was in the taxi with three other students, was also killed in the attack, eyewitnesses said.

One of her fellow passengers was in critical injured, and the other two were moderately to seriously hurt, medical sources said.

More than 15 people were wounded in the strike, most of them by shrapnel, medical sources said.

The missiles also hit the car traveling in front in which a Hamas activist was hit. He lost his leg in the blast.

Hamas sources said the target of the strike was Mohammed as-Siam, 28, and promised to revenge the assassination attempt.

Hamas also warned the latest Israeli action put “real obstacles” in the way of attempts to reach a truce.

“This cowardly assassination confirms that the enemy does not want stability or quiet and hence puts real obstacles (in front of) our continuing inter-Palestinian dialogue and efforts towards a truce,” senior Hamas official Ismail Haniya said.

The Islamic Jihad group expressed similar sentiments.

“This new Israeli crime will negatively impact the decision of the Islamic Jihad movement and that of other (Palestinian) factions regarding a truce,” senior Jihad official Mohammed al-Hindi said.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s Media Advisor, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, slammed Israel for the latest killings, accusing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of wanting “to ruin any chance to implement the roadmap.”

“We hold Israel entirely responsible. Sharon aims to destroy Palestinian efforts to bring about quiet and a truce and to ruin any chance to implement the roadmap,” Abu Rudeinah said.

Earlier on Wednesday, IOF shot dead two Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, Palestinian security and medical sources said.

The two victims were identified as Sa’id Mohaisen, 23, and Eyad Al-Masri, 20.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their raids in the West Bank, rounding up all the men in a village east of Jenin and detaining some 20 Palestinians in the town of Tulkarem, Palestinian security sources said.

The raid on Jenin came after a wide-scale detention campaign carried out by IOF in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The IOF detained about 160 Palestinians including elderly men, some women and young teenagers.


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