Israel Persists With Assassinations, Kills 4 More
Israel Persists on Extra-judicial Assassinations, Kills 4 More Palestinians
Four Palestinians have been extra-judicially killed on Sunday after an Israeli Apache gunship fired several missiles at their vehicle in an overcrowded neighborhood in Gaza City following Israel’s refusal of a Palestinian offer to renew the ceasefire (Hudna).
Palestinian security sources said Israeli helicopters gunships killed four Palestinians, including two activists of the group Hamas.
Several people were also wounded in the night-time attack near the headquarters of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza, a port city on the Mediterranean sea.
One missile missed its target but the second hit the car, witnesses said. When the four men fled on foot near the sea they were struck down by a third missile, they added.
Medical sources at Al-Shifa hospital where the victims were taken identified two of the dead as Waheed al-Hams and Ahmed Shtaiwi, members of Ezzedine al-Qassam, the military arm of Hamas.
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) chief of staff Mosche Yaalon said only hours earlier that all members of Hamas are “potential targets for liquidation.”
This is also the second attack against Palestinian activists in the past few days.
On Thursday, Israel assassinated senior Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab in a helicopter missile strike on his car in southern Gaza City. The attack prompted Hamas and other groups to declare dead a seven-week-old cease-fire.
The latest attack came shortly after the head of Palestinian public security for the Gaza Strip ordered his forces to prevent attacks on Israel such as the assault with a makeshift rocket earlier in the day.
The head of Palestinian public security for the Gaza Strip ordered his forces to prevent missile launching towards Israel, after a makeshift rocket was fired at an Israeli town earlier in the day.
“General (Abdelrazak) al-Majaida ordered his services to uphold security throughout the Gaza Strip and to prevent any public order violation, in order to preserve Palestinian national interest,” the security services said in a statement received by AFP.
Palestinian security forces in the Gaza Strip “will no longer tolerate the firing of Qassam rockets, mortar shells or automatic weapons against Israeli targets,” a Palestinian security official told AFP.
The Assassinations also came as Palestinian security forces pressed their first moves as part of the PNA’s plan to restore public order and the rule of law, closing five smugglers’ tunnels from Egypt to the southern Gaza town of Rafah and arresting nine suspected arms dealers.
“The important thing is that this is the first time the security forces are working to uphold law and order,” said Elias Zananiri, a spokesman for the Palestinian Minister of Security Affairs, Mohammed Dahlan.
However, Israeli officials refused to recognize the Palestinian efforts to restore calm and refused a proposal to renew the ceasefire.
Israel also confirmed freezing the peace process despite the PNA announcement “to put the Palestinian house in order” and “to implement its (roadmap) obligations.”
The Jewish state reiterated its demand that anti Israeli 36-year old occupation groups be dismantled before any resumption of peace talks.
Palestinian officials said Saturday a new truce was possible if the Israelis formally recognized it, pulled out of reoccupied towns and ended their practice of the extra-judicial assassinations.
But senior Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner dismissed the suggestion, saying "it is not serious.”
"As long as terrorist organizations continue to
exist there will not be the possibility of a real
ceasefire,” he told AFP.