Da Arab News del 26/08/2005
Originale su http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=69050&d=...

Israelis Murder Five in Night Raid

di Hisham Abu Taha

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces raided a Tulkarm refugee camp early yesterday and killed five Palestinians, three of them unarmed teenagers. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of wrecking prospects for peace and Palestinian fighters in Gaza fired rockets into Israel in retaliation. The White House called for calm.

The flare-up was the first since Israel finished scrapping all 21 settlements in Gaza and four of 120 in the West Bank on Tuesday. A new surge of violence would jeopardize a truce that largely held as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carried out his “Disengagement Plan” and make it harder to capitalize on the pullout by reviving a US-backed peace road map.

The Israeli Army said its troops killed five militants in a gunbattle after they resisted arrest for suspected involvement in two suicide bombings in Israel this year.

Witnesses said three of the dead were unarmed teenagers and two were fighters, one from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed faction of the Fatah movement, and the other from Islamic Jihad.

Abbas slammed the killings, saying they undermined the peace process and a truce being observed by Palestinians. “At a time when the Palestinian Authority is trying to maintain calm, this murder intentionally aims at renewing the vicious cycle of violence,” Abbas said in a statement.

But he also urged the Palestinians “not to respond to such provocations by the Israeli government, so as not to give Israel a pretext to escalate its aggression”.

The shootings provoked cries of revenge from fighters as several thousand mourners attended the funerals.

Gaza-based fighters fired two makeshift rockets into southern Israel in the first such attack since Israel evacuated all its settlers from the territory it has occupied for four decades. There were no injuries.

The White House appealed for calm and urged Israel and the Palestinians to seize a “historic opportunity” to promote peace in the region. “We always denounce any violence and we urge both sides to exercise calm,” spokesman Trent Duffy said.

Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, speaking on Israeli television, said there would be no rush to peace talks.

Defining Israel’s first priority as helping 9,000 Gaza and West Bank settlers rebuild their lives, Mofaz said: “I think we should continue along the road map after the disengagement. This will not happen immediately, but after several months.”

Hundreds of members of the Palestinian security forces moved to the northern West Bank yesterday, preparing to deploy around four evacuated Israeli settlements in the region. Palestinian officials said around 700 members of the national security branch, drawn from across the West Bank, headed to the city of Jenin from where they are expected to be given Israeli clearance to fan out around the vacated settlements of Homesh, Sanur, Ganim and Kadim.

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