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Israel responds to rocket threat with raids on Jericho, Jenin

Special to World Tribune.com
MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE
Thursday, August 7, 2003

RAMALLAH Israel's military has raided two West Bank cities in a rare operation since Palestinian insurgents announced a truce on June 29.

Palestinian sources said Israeli troops raided PA installations and nearby homes in the West Bank city of Jericho on Wednesday. The sources said 18 PA security officers were detained in a large house in the city.

During the raid, the sources said, Israeli forces closed off downtown Jericho in a house-to-house search. The Israeli force did not encounter resistance.

Israeli sources said the operation was meant to foil PA plans to establish production facilities for the Kassam-class missile in Jericho.

They said PA officers from various security agencies have been trying for weeks to exploit their new freedom of movement throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip to smuggle in components and other material required for the production of the Hamas-designed missile into Jericho.


Assuming the unassumable
Those who believe that an unplanned, random "Big Bang" explosion of unknown matter caused the formation of the numberless bodies of the cosmos have more faith that fanatics. They also conveniently ignore some obvious points of information: Read on . . .

Israeli forces were also reported as having entered the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday. Palestinian sources said Israeli troops sealed off the industrial zone and blocked all entrances to the city in a search operation. Among the Palestinians arrested was Mahmoud Al Awna, a leading Fatah insurgent.

The raids came as Israel freed 339 Palestinians on Wednesday. PA officials dismissed the release as meaningless, saying most of the prisoners had been scheduled to be freed within the next few weeks.

Israel did not provide details of the operations in Jenin or Jericho. An Israeli military communique on Wednesday said the army foiled a suicide bombing by a 17-year-old Palestinian from Nablus.

The military statement said Amid Turyakeh was arrested in Nablus on Aug. 1. Troops were said to have found an explosive belt.

Turyakeh was identified as belonging to a Fatah-aligned group headed by Nayef Abu Shrah. No details were reported.

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