Eight Palestinians, including a 17-year-old girl, were killed by Israel Occupation Forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Bushra Wahash, was shot by Israeli gunfire as she peered out the window of her home. IOF troops surrounded the house in Jenin in which, Bushra was located and ordered all its inhabitants to leave.
Three young men were killed in the city Saturday afternoon, and a policeman was killed earlier in the day in a nearby village. The death toll was the highest in the West Bank since four people were killed during an IOF raid in a West Bank vegetable market on January 4. On Saturday night, a 37-year-old Palestinian man was killed and another wounded when an Israel aircraft fired a missile at a vehicle in the Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian security officials said the dead man was a civilian. The air strike was the first in the Gaza Strip since a ceasefire was agreed last November.
The strike came after militants in the Strip fired three Qassam rockets into southern Israel on Saturday evening. to Sderot town, destroying an external wall and lightly wounding two people, and two rockets landed in open areas near the town. But Palestinian officials said the bloodshed hurt efforts to expand a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. "This undermines our efforts to bring about a cessation of hostilities. As such, I believe this is very very bad." said Saeb Erekat, a top aide to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Undercover Border Police officers killed four Palestinians in clashes in the West Bank, including three militants killed when troops opened fire at their vehicle. The three militants were ambushed while riding in a vehicle in Jenin. The soldiers killed Abed, 22, a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the sources said, and later left the village taking five people with them. Three Palestinian militant groups - Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs‘ Brigades - claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks on Sderot. In a joint statement, they said the attack was to avenge the deaths of Palestinian fighters shot dead earlier on Saturday. The fighting threatened to strain the cease-fire declared last November between Isra el and militants in Gaza. The truce has brought a sharp drop in fighting, though sporadic rocket attacks have continued. Israeli officials have said they will not tolerate continued rocket fire.
Police officer killed
A 23 year old Palestinian policeman Mohammed Said Talal Abid, from Kafr Dan in the northern West Bank. was also shot dead by Israeli forces. During the morning‘s invasion Abid‘s brother described an Israeli sniper shooting him just below his right eye. Kafr Dan declared a state of mourning for the killed young man, with all residents gathering around his family‘s home in support. soldiers operating in the village had surrounded the family home of Muhammad Abed before breaking into the home and shooting in all directions. Witnesses said the man was not involved in the fighting and he was shot through the window of his house. His family said he was in the house at the time and unarmed. He was shot twice and died immediately, they said.
Adnan al-Damiri, Jenin‘s police chief, accused the Israeli army of targeting its officers and held it responsible for the ongoing escalation in Jenin. "Killing the Palestinian policeman means that Israel‘s escalation does not even rule out the Palestinian security services," al-Damiri said. Palestinian police consider the Israeli operation an attempt to obstruct its efforts to restore security in Jenin, he added. In the town of Beit Fourik, east of Nablus City, a major Israeli invasion beginning Friday evening and lasting into Saturday morning. Several Palestinians are injured and a house is destroyed. Palestinian security sources report that Israeli forces surrounded the home of Fadi Rajeh Hanni. Bulldozers plowed through the house, destroying it completely. The Israeli claim is that the military was fired upon from the house.
Young people from Beit Fourik began throwing stones and Israeli soldiers opened fire. Several injuries were incurred among residents, including 15 year old Mohammad Iyad Hanni. Eyewitness saw Israeli soldiers shooting bullets and gas at young stone throwers, leading to a high number of injuries, including fainting from gas inhalation. Townspeople rushed to the home to survey the destruction and devastation.
Attack against protesters
In other development, the international conference hosted by the Popular Resistance in Bil‘in ended with a demonstration in which Israeli forces injured 24 people.
A Puerto Rican supporter climbed a observation tower used by Israeli forces occupying the West Bank and planted a Palestinian flag. He was later arrested.
The 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Northern Ireland Mairead Corrigan, and the former French Ambassador to the United Nations, Stephane Hessel, were among dozens of dignitaries who participated in the activities of the several day conference. Palestinian Information Minister, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, held a press conference expressing support for the struggle in western Ramallah‘s Bil‘in. The town‘s impressive history of nonviolent resistance against the Wall “must be extended throughout the country, as is the case in southern Bethlehem, because the Wall destroys Palestinian life.” He stressed the need for freedom of the press and recalled Israeli military attacks on journalists, such as what happened during last week‘s Bil‘in demonstration, and demanded the immediate release of kidnapped BBC correspondent Alan Johnston.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Corrigan, expressed solidarity with the people of Bil‘in and with the Palestinian people in general, and a full rejection of the Wall, also demanding the immediate release of Johnston. The local coordinator of the Popular Committee to Resist the Wall said that the repression suffered by villagers in recent days will not discourage citizens from continuing their legitimate struggle against occupation. The leader of the Bil‘in resistance, Mohammad Al Khatib, noted the Palestinian flag planted atop an Israeli observation tower in rejection of the Wall and occupation and in solidarity with the people of Bil‘in.
The massive march that concluded the conference included Deputy Prime Minister Azzam Al Ahmed, Information Minister Mustafa Barghouthi, and Legislative Council members Qais Abdel Karim, among many others. As the demonstration moved through the town‘s streets and approached the Wall, Israeli forces opened fire. The army showered the nonviolent demonstrators with gas and both steel and rubber bullets. Twenty-four people were injured and four arrested. Among those arrested were an Israeli press photographer and a French citizen. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was among the injured, as were several other foreigners and many Palestinian journalists.