Sources: Israel kills Palestinian militants
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli forces Wednesday killed two Palestinians accused of being behind terror attacks and arrested a third Palestinian militant and demolished his house, according to Palestinian security sources.
The sources said Ziad Duaa, 25, a member of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades wanted for his alleged role in attacks on Israelis, was killed when an Apache helicopter fired on his house in the West Bank town of Tulkarem.
Al Aqsa is an offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks across Israel. The U.S. State Department has declared it a terrorist organization.
At the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza, Israeli snipers shot and killed Hussam Hamdan, a member of Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, Palestinian security sources said. The sources said Israel tried to get Hamdan several weeks ago but killed a colleague of his by mistake.
Hamdan, 27, is the son of Nimr Hamdan, a top Hamas political official in Khan Younis who has been a vocal critic of the Palestinian Authority.
A Palestine Red Crescent Society official said two others -- young Palestinian men not affiliated with a radical movement -- also died in clashes in Tulkarem.
Israeli military sources said they were not aware of any Palestinian casualties in Tulkarem but said soldiers are facing stiff resistance from Palestinian gunmen there as they try to make arrests.
In Bethlehem, Israeli forces arrested Yehyah Daamseh -- a local Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader -- and then demolished the house he was hiding in, Palestinian sources said. Israeli military sources said an explosives belt was found in the house.
According to Israel Radio, Daamseh is reported to be an explosives expert believed responsible for sending suicide bombers into Israel, including one who killed 11 Israelis in March, and a number of others whose attacks Israeli forces have thwarted.
Israel Defense Forces had no immediate response. The demolition came a day after the Israeli Supreme Court cleared the way for the army to destroy the homes of terror suspects without warning.
More than 30 families of suicide bombers or those who carried out attacks in Israel had petitioned the court to stop the Israeli military from tearing down their homes.
In Rishon Letzion, 15 miles south of Tel Aviv, a bomb planted beneath a diesel fuel tanker truck went off Wednesday, lightly wounding the driver, Israeli police said. It was not immediately clear whether the bomb was a terrorist attack attempt or a criminal act, police said.
Israel conducts raids in northern Gaza
Israeli forces pulled out of northern Gaza on Wednesday after an overnight raid involving dozens of tanks and troops.
According to the IDF, its troops entered the village of Beit Lahiya and the Jebalya refugee camp to make searches and arrest Palestinians suspected of terrorist activities. An IDF spokesman called the operation "routine."
Eyewitnesses reported sporadic gunfire as the Israeli forces moved into Gaza around 1 a.m. (6 p.m. EDT Tuesday). The IDF said its forces returned fire after Palestinian gunmen shot at them.
The clashes left one Palestinian police officer dead and two wounded -- one seriously, according to Palestinian officials.
In Beit Lahiya, the Israelis surrounded a sports complex, conducted house-to-house searches and arrested Palestinians for questioning in suspected terrorist activities, the officials said.
Machine-gun fire sprayed several homes during the incursion, and a tank knocked over a wall, but otherwise damage was limited, CNN has learned.
Earlier, eyewitnesses said Israeli bulldozers destroyed at least four homes, but the IDF said no such demolitions occurred.
Palestinian sources also reported Israeli military moves south of Gaza City near Netzarim Junction. Palestinian security forces and Israeli troops exchanged gunfire there, the sources said, but the situation seemed calm about an hour later.
Palestinian officials said they believed the Israeli actions were designed to scuttle high-level security talks between the two sides that began Monday. During those discussions, Israelis said they would pull their military forces out of positions in Gaza so that Palestinian Authority security forces could take control.
In Ramallah, the Palestinian Cabinet preliminarily endorsed the so-called "Gaza first" plan that Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer had offered. A meeting setting up the terms of the deal was scheduled for Wednesday night in Jerusalem. (Full story)
-- CNN producer Adil Bradlow contributed to this report.
WORLD TOP STORIES:
Blix: 'Iraq could do more'
N. Korea warns of nuclear conflict
Serb hardliner refuses to plead
NASA: Flight-deck video found
Caracas tense after bombs
|Back to the top|