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IOF Kill 5 Palestinians, Raising Weekly Death Toll

IOF Kill 5 Palestinians, Raising Weekly Death Toll to 11

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their extra-judicial assassinations early Thursday and killed five Palestinians including a 3-year-old girl, raising the Palestinian death toll—which included two teenagers and a newborn—in a week to eleven. This comes at a time when twenty-seven Israeli air force pilots said they had refused to carry out assassination missions over the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Israeli pilots, believed to be regulars and reservists, recently submitted a petition opposing the missions to air force head General Dan Haloutz, the Israeli radio said, but gave no further details.

In their petition, thought to be the first signed by Israeli air force personnel, the pilots refused “to continue to endanger innocent civilians and to attack densely populated areas,” the radio said.

The Israeli government’s policy of assassinations—dubbed by Israel as targeted killings—of Palestinian activists wounded in the past week 24 Palestinian civilians, 8 of them seriously, during which the IOF detained at least 27 Palestinians and demolished nine houses completely and five houses partially.

These extra-judicial killings, which have been denounced by the international community, are usually carried out by air force personnel in helicopter gunships and occasionally fighter jets and often cause civilian casualties.

On January 25, 2002, 52 army reserve officers and soldiers said they were refusing to serve in the occupied Palestinian territory, but the air force had remained untouched by the protests.

Around 190,000 men and women are on active service in the Israeli air force with a further 450,000 on standby as reserves, according to the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Tel Aviv, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Early Thursday, IOF troops extra-judicially killed five Palestinians during a raid into al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip and an incursion into the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian and Israeli security sources said.

IOF killed Diab al-Shwaiki and Abdul-Rahim Kik Talahmi in a raid on Issa area in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Both Palestinian and Israeli sources confirmed that both men were local leaders of al-Jihad al-Islami (Islamic Jihad) military wing.

An unidentified 3-year-old girl was also killed in the raid, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported.

Separately, Jawad Shahin survived a failed Israeli extra-judicial assassination attempt in which Mohammad Akel and Nour Abu Rummanah were killed together with an IOF soldier early Thursday in an Israeli military incursion into al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip.

Six other Palestinians and six IOF soldiers were wounded in the IOF raid on the refugee camp.

IOF troops surrounded the house of Jawad Shahin, a local leader of the Islamic Jihad in the camp, Palestinians said.

Israeli military sources claimed IOF soldiers went in to arrest Shahin. Gunmen in the house opened fire, and the soldiers fired back, the sources told Reuters.

After the IOF pulled out, the bodies of the two Palestinians were found.

One day earlier, IOF killed unarmed 15-year-old Mohammad Issa Hamdan by a tank shell that also wounded eleven Palestinians, five of them seriously, during a miltary incursion into the southern Gaza Strip Rafah refugee camp where IOF troops demolished seven houses.

Israeli military sources confirmed the incursion into Rafah refugee camp on the Egyptian border and claimed five tank shells were fired after IOF soldiers came under fire.

Palestinian medics and witnesses said the 15-year-old was unarmed and was killed by a tank shell that wounded eleven others.

On Tuesday, IOF killed two Palestinians in Nablus and Gaza as a teenager died of wounds sustained earlier.

IOF shot dead Marwan Ahmed al-Najar near the illegal Israeli settlement of Dugit in the Gaza Strip, claiming he was an armed Islamic Jihad man trying to carry out an attack inside Israel.

IOF sources said their troops also killed an unidentified Palestinian overnight Tuesday in Rafidyah, a Nablus neighborhood, in the West Bank.

IOF troops also wounded three Palestinians, including a 12-year-old girl in the Gaza Strip and detained nineteen Palestinians in the West Bank on Tuesday.

On Monday, 16-year-old Palestinian boy Shadi Mansour died of wounds sustained by an IOF bullet during an Israeli military incursion into the West Bank city Nablus in December 2002.

Early Monday, IOF killed a Palestinian man in Hebron, wounded four Palestinians, including a 12 and 8-year-old boy and girl, detained six more Palestinians and demolished seven more houses since September 18 as a newborn died at an Israeli military roadblock in Bethlehem.

IOF killed Palestinian Basel al-Qawasmeh early Monday when they demolished the house he was hiding in the West Bank city of Hebron.

IOF gunfire also on Monday wounded three Palestinians, including the 12-year-old girl Einas Subuh, in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.

Last Saturday, the wife of Khaled al-Atrash had to deliver her baby on an IOF roadblock in Bethlehem after soldiers blocked their way from al-Walajah village to a Jerusalem hospital for more than two hours, which led to the death of the newborn.

On Friday, the Palestine Red Crescent confirmed that an unidentified 12-year-old boy, Palestinian man Khalil Abu el-Rubb, 19, and 8-year-old girl Farah Abu Srour, were taken to the hospital after being seriously injured by IOF gunfire in Jenin.

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