Tags: Israel | Bombs | Palestinian | Bases | Gaza

Israel Bombs Palestinian Bases in Gaza

Friday, 25 January 2002 12:00 AM

Three explosions were heard in a beachfront Gaza City neighborhood where a Palestinian naval police base is located, witnesses said. F-16 warplanes also fired rockets at Palestinian security installations in the West Bank town of Tulkarim.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in either attack, though ambulances rushed to the Gaza City neighborhood.

Witnesses said they saw white smoke and fire in the Gaza City neighborhood after the shelling began.

In Jerusalem Friday, two Israeli women were killed and dozens were injured in an attack carried out by Palestinian militants.

A suicide bomb attack in a Tel Aviv pedestrian mall wounded at least 26 people. The bomb exploded, killing the suicide attacker who detonated it, in an area best known for its string of inexpensive shoe stores.

"The terrorist passed right near us ... and immediately, boom," said Moshe Hayun, who was slightly injured.

"It was like fire in the sky," Gabriel Zecharia said.

Police Inspector Gen. Shlomo Aharonishki told reporters they found a bag with an assault rifle and detained a West Bank resident fleeing from the scene. Aharonishki said it was not clear if the detained person was connected with the attack.

Israeli officials blamed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for the attack.

In another attack, Palestinians fired three rockets at the Erez Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, but caused neither damage nor injuries, the Israeli army spokesman reported.

However, the Palestinian Authority said in a statement that it condemned any violent action that would hurt innocent civilians "no matter if they are Palestinians or Israelis."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but Defense Minister Benyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israeli Television Channel One that the militant Islamic Jihad was probably behind the attack.

Israeli radio reported that Ben-Eliezer said one armed Palestinian with a Kalashnikov rifle was arrested at the scene of the bomb attack.

The radio said Israeli police arrested two Palestinians, one of them a resident of the West Bank city of Hebron, for suspected involvement.

The Palestinians were arrested after trying to flee the area, said the radio, adding that police also found a Kalashnikov rifle near the location of the explosion, along with six cartridges of ammunition, which were probably intended to be used at the same time as the explosion.

On Friday morning, Israeli troops pulled out of the al Tirah neighborhood in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Troops moved into the neighborhood following an attack on Hadera last week in which six people were killed.

The attack in Tel Aviv came the morning after Israeli troops killed two Palestinian militants as they allegedly tried to infiltrate a Jewish settlement in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman and Palestinian sources said.

The dead men were identified as Raed El Agha and Ahmed Abdel Wahab, both 24.

The Palestinian Authority statement condemned the assassination of a Hamas militant on Thursday night, and the two others, El Agha and Abdel Wahab, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli army helicopters late Thursday killed Hamas militant Backer Hamdan in the southern Gaza Strip. Hamas vowed to avenge the death.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, the senior Hamas official in Gaza, called the Israeli airstrike on Hamdan's car "a drop in the sea of Israeli crimes" and vowed to respond with "painful" retaliation.

The IDF spokesman said Hamdan was Hamas' military commander in the Khan Younis area and was "directly responsible" for dozens of bombing, shooting and mortar bomb attacks in recent months on Israeli forces and settlements in the Gaza strip.

Hamdan was killed "in the midst of preparations for carrying out a powerful attack against Israeli targets in the Strip," the spokesman added.

Before dawn, a paratroop reconnaissance unit arrested two Hamas activists near Nablus, in a West Bank area under full Palestinian control. The activists are suspected of carrying out attacks against Israel. Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Three explosions were heard in a beachfront Gaza City neighborhood where a Palestinian naval police base is located, witnesses said. F-16 warplanes also fired rockets at Palestinian security installations in the West Bank town of Tulkarim. There were no immediate reports...
Israel,Bombs,Palestinian,Bases,Gaza
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2002-00-25
Friday, 25 January 2002 12:00 AM
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