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Israel has launched a large-scale military incursion into the West Bank town of Ramallah

2007-01-04

Israeli Occupation Forces killed four citizens and wounded twenty five, five critically, including a journalist as IOF opened random fire at citizens in Ramallah.

Security sources said that at least twenty Israeli armored vehicles, covered by helicopters, thrust into Ramallah targeting some Palestinian freedom fighters. Palestinians threw stones at Israeli bulldozers and military vehicles as Israel carried out what it called a "routine arrest operation".  Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers arrested several citizens in the down town of Ramallah and intentionally damaged several stores and parking vehicles. Carriers were seen driving through the central Manara Square, clearing cars out of the way. Israeli forces used bulldozers to clear the streets in the centre of Ramallah.

The incursion, with IDF armoured vehicles and bulldozers slamming aside parked cars near Ramallah's main Manara Square, was the biggest such operation in the city since May, when four Palestinians were killed in a raid.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, harshly condemned the Ramallah raid saying the Ramallah operation” proved that the Israeli calls for peace and security are fake.''

"The continued aggression will only lead to the destruction of all efforts aimed at realizing peace,'' he said in a statement, " The raid came less than two weeks after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met.  In a written statement Abbas appealed to the international community to rein in Israel."The continued aggression will only lead to the destruction of all efforts aimed at realizing peace".

The West Bank operation came only hours before a meeting between Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, and the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarek. In a meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak condemned the operation, according to the state news agency MENA said. Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in late November, but military incursions have continued in the West Bank. "President Mubarak asserted to Olmert that Egypt rejects and is indignant at the military operation," it said. Palestinian security sources said an Israeli helicopter had poured machinegun fire into a building near the square. The IDF reported that the machinegun fire was directed at open fields.

An Israeli army spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said forces were engaged in "routine” arrest activity" he did not explaine why proporties of cicilian were targted and bulddozed?. During the raid in Ramallah on Thursday, bulldozers and armored personnel carriers were seen driving through Ramallah's central square, clearing cars out of the way and turning some over on the pavement. Gunshots could be heard throughout the center of the town, which was mostly deserted. At one point, an Israel Air Force helicopter fired, witnesses said. Residents hurled blocks and firebombs at the soldiers. None of the Israeli troops were wounded in the exchange. The aggresion army left the area after more than an hour after killing four innocent citizens woinded 25 and causing heavey damage to the streets of Ramallah and the proproties of many citizens.

Source: ATF and Agencies


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