Photo: Reuters
Clashes in Qalqilya (Archive)
Photo: Reuters
2 Palestinians killed in Beit Lahiya
Saturday morning, sources report IDF sniper killed Palestinian police officer on way to work in northern Gaza; IDF claims victim was armed gunman. Saturday afternoon, Palestinian sources report second death in Beit Lahiya

Saturday, IDF forces shot two Palestinians in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.  In a separate area of northern Gaza, three IDF soldiers were injured when an antitank missile hit their vehicle.


Palestinian sources said that one of the fatalities was 24 year old Said Hajouj, a member of the Palestinian police forces on the way to his base. 


Palestinians claimed that Israeli forces ambushing gunmen in the area opened fire at the policeman, and he suffered fatal head wounds.  They further claimed that Hajouj had been wearing his uniform, but not carrying his weapon. 


Medical sources reported that another person died as a result of IDF fire in the town, but no details were given.  Additionally, according to the sources, three local farmers were injured by IDF fire in the area. 


IDF forces began operating in the Beit Lahiya area Friday night, in order to prevent Qassam launchings from the region.  This is not a renewal of the previous operation, but rather an attempt to identify and take out local Qassam launching cells.


At least three Palestinian gunmen were hit by IDF fire Saturday morning.


In another area in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded when their vehicle was hit by an antitank missile launched by Palestinian gunmen.  They were hospitalized in Ashkelon.


Later Saturday afternoon, two additional antitank missiles were fired at IDF forces in Gaza, but no soldiers were hurt.  Pursuant to the death of a Sderot woman from a Qassam attack, IDF forces are anticipated to intensify operations in the Strip.



Qalqilya clashes

The incident Saturday morning comes after one Palestinian was killed and dozens wounded in clashes that erupted between Palestinians and Israeli troops besieging a house to arrest a Hama operative in Qalqilya in the West Bank. Three of the wounded were reportedly in serious condition.


According to the Palestinians, a large number of the wounded were children and youths, who were shot after hurling stones at the soldiers.


In light of the inability of hospitals in Qalqilya to treat the wounded, many of them were transferred to hospitals in Ramallah.


The IDF reported that a number of Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at the soldiers. The troops fired back at the bottom part of the rioters' bodies and hit nine of them.


On Thursday security forces arrested Muhammad Zitawi, a Tanzim operative from Tulkarm, for suspected involvement in the murder of eight Israelis.


First published: 18.11.06, 11:36
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