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Hamas man killed

Arafat
Arafat: Flying to London Monday  


QALQILYA, West Bank -- A member of the militant Hamas group has been shot dead at his home.

Israel Defense Forces say Abdel Rahman Hamad was a "known terrorist" who had planned a series of attacks against Israel and was planning another attack.

IDF did not say whether or not it had played any part in the killing but Palestinian sources, quoted by Israel Radio, said Hamad was shot by Israeli forces as he stood on the roof of his house.

The killing comes as hopes were rising for the stalled peace process.

Israel said on Saturday it planned to lift some travel restrictions on Palestinians by Monday and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was due to travel to London to meet UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday.

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Israel and Palestinian leaders have agreed to a cease-fire and although violence has continued it has generally been at a much lower level of intensity.

As part of the cease-fire Israel had pledged not to carry out offensive operations but after a number of Palestinian attacks Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the Israeli military would do whatever was necessary to protect Israeli lives.

Israel radio, quoting the Palestinian security sources, said Hamad died from gunshot wounds to the head.

The sources said he was killed by Israeli forces as he stood on the roof of his house and they called the death an Israeli assassination.

IDF did not comment on any involvement it may or may not have had in the killing.

But a spokesman told CNN Hamad had planned a number of attacks against Israeli and Israelis, including the Tel Aviv disco suicide bombing that killed 23 people in June, and that he was plotting a further attack.

Eighteen people died at the disco and the others died later at hospital.

Israel has tracked and killed dozens of Palestinian militants it says have been involved in attacks against Israelis.



 
 
 
 


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