Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I-54 More Israeli Gestapo tactics...

Israeli offensive in Gaza City kills 2 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The Israeli military launched a three-pronged offensive in the northern
Gaza Strip early Tuesday, killing a top Hamas commander in its latest operation against Palestinian rocket squads. An elderly Palestinian woman died in a gunbattle between troops and militants.

Militants persisted with the rocket fire, launching five homemade projectiles, including three that landed in southern Israel. One critically wounded a man in the town of Sderot, a frequent target, striking the ground a half-mile from a convoy carrying the United Nations' top human rights official, who was touring the town.

The operation on Tuesday began at about 2 a.m. as an arrest raid in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, then fanned out to the outskirts of Jebaliya and Beit Lahiya, about 4 miles away..... Ground troops backed by helicopters, tanks and snipers surrounded the Zeitoun home of Ayman Hassanin, 26, a local leader in the military wing of the ruling Hamas group, witnesses said.

Gunmen streamed to the area as troops called on loudspeakers for Hassanin and his brother, Ibrahim, to surrender, said the militants' mother, who identified herself only as Umm Mahmoud. A fierce gunbattle erupted, and Ayman Hassanin, 26, was killed, Hamas said..... A 70-year-old woman was also killed in the battle, Palestinian medical officials said.

*** *** *** The army confirmed surrounding Hassanin's home to arrest him, saying troops opened fire only after militants fired guns and mortars at the soldiers first. *** *** ***

Troops entered the town of Jebaliya after dawn. Bulldozers plowed over farms, ripping up irrigation systems and destroying greenhouses and fields. A main electricity transformer, which provides about 60 percent of the power to the Zeitoun neighborhood, was also destroyed.... Four people, including at least one Hamas gunman, was wounded when a tank shell hit a group of fighters, witnesses said.

Israeli bulldozers demolished a factory between Jebaliya and Beit Lahiya in an area where rockets were launched Tuesday morning. Troops also razed land on the outskirts of Beit Lahiya and took up positions on high ground.... By late morning, the troops had left Zeitoun.


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