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Israelis Kill 44 Palestinians in Two Weeks

Palestinian Leadership Urges Immediate Stop to Ashdod-like Attacks

Israelis Kill 44 Palestinians in Two Weeks

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday shot dead a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip, raising the Palestinian death toll to six in 48 hours, to 35 in eight days and to 44 in two weeks, as the Palestinian Leadership and Cabinet condemned the twin bombing in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod late Sunday, noting that the purpose of the attack was to thwart a long-awaited summit between premiers Ahmad Qurei and Ariel Sharon and stressing that the higher interests of the Palestinian people require an immediate stop to similar actions.

Within hours after two Palestinians and eleven Israelis were killed late Sunday in a double-attack at Israel’s southern port of Ashdod, a Palestinian was killed in an IOF raid, backed by tanks and Apache helicopters, into the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah overnight Monday.

IOF Apache helicopters also bombed several targets in Gaza city overnight Monday.

Early Sunday, IOF shot dead Mahmoud E’laiwa, 23, Mohammad Alembayed, 24, and Ahmad Hamdan, 22, east of Gaza City, claiming they were planting mines near the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel.

On Saturday, IOF shot dead 37-year-old Ali Shawkat Al-Fares in the northern West Bank village of Tallouza, near Nablus.

Al-Fares became mentally retarded under torture in Israeli occupation jails when he was 17, during the first Intifada (uprising) against the 37-year-old Israeli occupation.

Also on Saturday, IOF shot and killed two reportedly armed Palestinians east of the Gaza Strip, claiming they were crawling inside a prohibited area about 100 yards from the border fence separating Gaza from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of “Nahal Oz”.

The two men were identified as Mohammed Habboush, 20, and Sa’id Mraish, 20.

Since last Saturday through Thursday, the Palestinian death toll reached 29, including four children, four teenagers, a father of five and a mother of three who left behind a 40-day-old infant. During the same period the IOF wounded at least nine others, and detained more than 38 activists against the Israeli occupation.

The previous week, IOF extra-judicially executed eight Palestinians and shot dead two children and an unarmed policeman.

Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Al-Qassam Brigades claimed joint responsibility for the Ashdod attack, which they said was in retaliation of the ongoing Israeli killings.

The Palestinian Leadership, in a statement released by the official news agency WAFA on Sunday, condemned the attack, noting that its purpose was to thwart the planned summit between Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon.

The statement said the Palestine National Authority (PNA) would pursue the implementation of a security plan designed to enforce law and order in the Gaza Strip.

Similarly a statement issued by Qurei’s office said, “The higher national interests of the Palestinian people require an immediate cessation of such actions. The Palestinian government condemns the targeting of civilians on both sides and the continuation of the series of military escalation.”

Sharon on Sunday canceled a planned summit with his Palestinian counterpart after the Ashdod double bombing.

In response to Sharon’s decision to call off the planned summit, Hassan Abu Libdeh, head of Qurei’s bureau, expressed hope that the meeting would nevertheless be held soon.

“I believe this is a temporary decision because the real response to the continuation of the violence should be the return of the two sides to the peace process,” he said.

Abu Libdeh on Sunday held his seventh meeting with his Israeli counterpart Dov Weisglass to prepare for the long-awaited summit. The two sides had agreed to meet again Monday. The Qurei – Sharon meeting was planned for Tuesday.

© Scoop Media

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