Skip to main content /WORLD
CNN.com /WORLD
CNN TV
EDITIONS

Israel arrests 6 from Arafat's elite force


JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli authorities arrested six members of Yasser Arafat's police guard Sunday as Israelis and Palestinians buried children killed in recent clashes.

An Israeli source told CNN the arrests came at a Palestinian checkpoint near Ramallah, in the West Bank. All those taken into custody by Israeli special forces were members of the elite Force 17, which provides personal security for Arafat, the Palestinian Authority's president.

Israeli officials targeted buildings belonging to the unit in helicopter and artillery strikes Wednesday, saying intelligence reports indicated the group was involved in the escalating six-month-old Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat denounced the arrests, calling them "part of the Israeli escalation plan," The Associated Press reported. Gideon Ezra, Israel's deputy internal security minister, said "middle-rank officials" who supply materials for attacks could be targets, AP reported.

  ALSO
 
 VIDEO
CNN's Ben Wedeman reports on Israel's toughened policy on dealing with Palestinian uprisings

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 
  AUDIO
kessel

CNN's Jerold Kessel: Peaceful protest in Galilee

62 sec/670K
AIFF or WAV sound

wedeman

CNN's Ben Wedeman: Violence in Ramallah

47 sec/510K
AIFF or WAV sound

hanna

CNN's Mike Hanna: Arafat not welcome in Washington

630K/58 sec.
AIFF or WAV sound
 
  MESSAGE BOARD
 

Some Palestinian leaders told the AP they were taking greater security precautions. Palestinians accuse Israel of killing at least a dozen activists since the uprising began in late September.

Overall, more than 400 people -- mostly Palestinians -- have been killed since the fighting began.

After a day of vows for revenge and a massive funeral procession for six Palestinians killed in fighting Friday, a quiet funeral was held Sunday for an 11-year-old Palestinian boy who died of wounds Saturday.

Mohammed Tamini was shot and wounded during a clash between Israelis and Palestinians on March 15. He was buried quietly near Ramallah.

In Hebron, meanwhile, Jewish settlers held services for a 10-month-old girl killed by a sniper's bullet earlier this week.

Jewish settlers had said they would not bury the baby -- killed on Monday -- until Israel captured the Palestinian-populated hill from where the gunfire originated. While Israel has not met the demand, the baby was buried Sunday to give her family the usual seven-day Jewish mourning period before the Passover holiday.

Local rabbi Dov Lior urged Israel's government to "avenge her blood ... which has been shed by dark villains," AP reported.

Israeli troops watched over the funeral procession through the center of divided Hebron as a curfew kept Palestinians inside. Some Israeli youths used rocks to break windows of Palestinian houses.



RELATED STORIES:
Thousands mourn 6 slain Palestinians
March 31, 2001
5 killed in protests on Palestinian 'Land Day'
March 30, 2001
Arafat vows continued uprising against Israel
March 29, 2001
Israeli Cabinet minister says attack 'defensive'
March 28, 2001
Two Israeli teens, bomber die in suicide attack
March 28, 2001
Sharon: Lack of security becoming 'unbearable'
March 27, 2001
Bombs rock Jerusalem as Arab summit convenes
March 27, 2001

RELATED SITES:
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Palestinian National Authority
Israel Defense Forces

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



 Search   





MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 













Back to the top