Israeli Troops Assassinate 6 Palestinian Activists
Palestinian Death Toll at 3,526 Since September 2000
Palestine Media Center – PMC
In less than a week since Monday, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed twelve Palestinians, eight of them in extra-judicial executions, only a week after shooting dead three boys and a teenager among eight others during the four-day reoccupation of the northern Gaza Strip and two weeks after killing 14 more in the bombing of a sports center in Gaza City, to raise the Palestinian death toll to more than 3,526 since September 2000.
Early Wednesday, IOF troops extra-judicially assassinated six Palestinian anti-occupation activists in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Occupation troops surrounded a building in Nablus where six “wanted” activists were staying. Five of them were killed immediately. The sixth man was injured and died later.
An IOF spokeswoman confirmed operations were underway but declined to comment on casualties. “Our troops were attacked while in Nablus and returned fire,” she claimed.
The Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights (PICCR) said the IOF killed 129 civilians in Nablus between 2003 and August 22, 2004, including 31 children. The report released on August 22 also said that 64 children were killed during 2004 alone.
Moreover, the report said that 31 of the victims were extra-judicially executed, either by bombing the cars they were in, executing them after arrest or by using undercover special forces.
The PICCR affirmed that extra-judicial executions are a violation of international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions.
On Monday, IOF extra-judicially assassinated Mahmoud Abu Khalifah, 30, Yamen Ayoub, 20, and Amjad Abul Hasan, 24 in the northern West Bank city of Jenin by firing a missile on their car from a US-made Apache helicopter.
The missile ripped apart the brown Mazda sedan, killing the three.
“I saw a small plane and then a flash of light, then I heard a huge explosion and a car went up in flames,” Abdel Karim Abdel Rahman, a witness, told Reuters of the strike that was launched near the Jenin municipality.
The next day, 26-year-old Yousef Ighbari blew himself up in retaliation at an IOF roadblock between the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya and the village of Habla, injuring three Israeli soldiers, one of them seriously.
The same day, at least 15 IOF tanks and military vehicles raided the northern West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams near Tulkarem, claiming they were looking for Falah Masharkah, whom they said was “wanted”.
Masharka told Al-Ayyam daily Wednesday that the IOF had moderately wounded his brother Ahmad and detained two of his sons; Amer and Ali.
On Monday, two Palestinians died of wounds sustained earlier from IOF gunfire.
24-year-old Rawad Ibrahim Al-Swairki died of wounds sustained from IOF gunfire east of Gaza City on September 7, while 19-year-old Dawoud Abu Jazar died in an Egyptian hospital of wounds sustained from IOF gunfire in the southern refugee camp of Yubna, near Rafah last year.
Separately in the West Bank, a number of gunmen kidnapped Rami Yaghmour and shot him dead from close range near the Al-Am’ari refugee camp while Palestinian policemen were escorting him to court in Ramallah on Tuesday. The victim was suspected of collaborating with the IOF.
In the southern Gaza Strip, the IOF demolished two Palestinian buildings close to the borderline between the town of Rafah and Egypt on Tuesday.
At least 20 Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers, including three tanks, stormed into the Sho’out neighborhood of Rafah and razed the two buildings, making more than fifty Palestinians homeless.