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Palestinian sources: Brother of Palestinian group's leader killed

RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- Israeli Special Forces killed the brother of the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Tuesday, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said Israeli Special Forces went to Mohammed Saadat's house in the West Bank town of Ramallah, opened fire and killed him. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said Saadat, 23, was shot nine times.

Israeli military sources said a force went to Ramallah to make an arrest. They said an exchange of gunfire erupted and the subject of their search was killed. They declined to identify who was killed.

Palestinians start patrols in West Bank, Gaza 

The military sources said one Israeli soldier suffered moderate to serious wounds while a second was slightly to moderately wounded.

A Reuters journalist who went to the scene said Saadat was shot in the back and head, his body sprawled in his back yard.

The Palestinian Authority called the shooting a crime. "This attack reflects Israel's intent to undermine any efforts to restart the peace process, and it cannot be justified," the authority said in a statement.

Israeli forces imposed a curfew on the area.

The Palestinian Authority is holding Saadat's brother, Ahmed, in Jericho. He was put under Palestinian detention May 1 as part of a deal that ended a 34-day Israeli siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah.

Israel has accused Ahmed Saadat of planning the October 17 assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze'evi in a Jerusalem hotel.

The PFLP later claimed responsibility, saying it was in response to the Israeli killing of Abu Ali Mustafa, Ahmed Saadat's predecessor in the PFLP, in August 2001.

The PFLP is a Palestinian militant group that has committed numerous international terrorist attacks and has conducted attacks against Israeli or moderate Arab targets, according to the U.S. State Department.

Elsewhere in the West Bank on Tuesday, Israeli forces, backed by dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers, raided the refugee camp at Tulkarem, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said.

The IDF alleges the camp is a staging ground for terror attacks, including suicide bombers.

Israeli military sources said one Palestinian -- believed to be wearing an explosives belt -- was killed in an exchange of gunfire and another was wounded. In addition, the IDF arrested 15 Palestinians.

In southern Gaza, Hamas claimed responsibility for the shooting death of an Israeli soldier Tuesday morning near the Jewish settlement of Gadid. The IDF said a "Palestinian terrorist" opened fire at an IDF post, seriously wounding a soldier, who later died on the way to the hospital.

Also in Gaza, Palestinian sources said Israeli forces killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy during a fierce battle in Khan Yunis between Israelis and Palestinian gunmen. According to reports, two Israeli Cobra attack helicopters also were involved in the fighting.




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