IDF kills 12-year-old boy in Jenin

Amos Harel and Nir Hasson


Cheshvan 16, 5765

Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot dead a 12-year-old Palestinian boy on Saturday during confrontations with protesters in a refugee camp in the West Bank town of Jenin, medics said.

Palestinian witnesses said the soldiers had come under a hail of stones thrown from rooftops as they were searching for wanted militants in the camp.

The troops opened fire killing Ibrahim Mohammed Ikmeil, 12, medics at a hospital in Jenin said.

An Israeli military source said the soldiers had responded after coming under fire, but Palestinians said the protesters were only throwing stones.

The violence erupted amid fears of a power vacuum in the Palestinian territories with ailing Palestinian President Yasser Arafat absent for the first time in a decade, after being flown to Paris on Friday for medical treatment.

The military source said soldiers had opened fire during protests by hundreds of Palestinians against a raid in the northern West Bank camp, but could not confirm whether anyone was shot.

Along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, east of the city of Rafah, troops shot and wounded a Palestinian man who was hunting wild birds, hospital staff said Saturday. They said the 42-year-old man was shot in the back and was still carrying several birds when he was brought to the emergency room.

Israeli military officials said soldiers spotted four men in a prohibited zone adjacent to the border fence who were observing troop movements through binoculars. The soldiers opened fire, apparently hitting two men.

In a separate incident, Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile and automatic gunfire at IDF troops stationed near Rafah on Saturday. There were no injuries reported.

Security guard shot by Palestinians near West Bank settlement
A security guard was lightly wounded early Saturday when two armed Palestinians shot at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Psagot, Army Radio reported.

According to the report, the guard sustained light gunshot wounds to the arm and was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical center in Jerusalem.

Army Radio said the guard, though wounded, managed to shoot at his attackers, but they overpowered him, took his personal firearm and fled the scene.

Police and Israel Defense Forces troops were searching for the gunmen.

IDF nabs suspected would-be bomber
IDF troops operating in the West Bank before dawn Friday arrested a woman suspected of planning to carry out a suicide bombing.

She was arrested at the Ein Beit al-Ma refugee camp near Nablus.

In addition, IDF forces detained 17 other wanted Palestinians in overnight operations.

Two people were arrested near Jenin, one was nabbed near Nablus, five were apprehended in the vicinity of Bethlehem, six in Hizme, south of Ramallah, and three were arrested in Beit Omar, north of Hebron.

Givati soldier killed in Gaza mortar attack laid to rest
Sergeant Michael Chizik, 21, of Tiberias was killed Thursday and six other soldiers from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion were wounded in a mortar shell attack on an Israel Defense Forces outpost at the settlement of Morag in the southern Gaza Strip.

Chizik was buried in the military section of the Tiberias cemetery at noon Friday.

Also Thursday, the IDF killed an 8-year-old Palestinian girl who was on her way to school in Khan Yunis. According to a preliminary IDF inquiry, mortar shells were fired before dawn, under cover of fog, from the Tufah neighborhood west of Khan Yunis toward IDF outposts in Gush Katif, west of the town.

Following intelligence warnings about additional mortar fire at the outposts and settlements, IDF troops in the area opened small arms fire, defined as "warning fire," in the direction of areas from which Palestinians regularly fire mortar shells. Apparently, one of the bullets hit the child. The IDF said it is investigating the incident. Witnesses said that the girl, Rania Iyad Aram, was hit by machine gun fire from an IDF outpost near the neighboring settlement of Ganei Tal.

In the West Bank on Thursday night, an IDF undercover unit killed two wanted Hamas militants in Qalqilyah, and troops also shot dead an armed Palestinian in Jenin.

Around 2:30 P.M. Thursday, the outpost at Morag was attacked and hit by two mortar shells and fire from sharpshooters from the direction of Khan Yunis. One shell registered a direct hit on a group of soldiers at the outpost. Sergeant Michael Chizik received a head wound and died several hours later. Three other soldiers sustained moderate limb injuries, a fourth was lightly injured, and two others suffered shock.

All the casualties were taken to Soroka Medical Center, Be'er Sheva by ambulance or helicopter.

The IDF responded with an incursion into Palestinian territory on the Rafah border, uprooting vegetation that apparently served as cover for the mortar squad. There were no further casualties in the ensuing exchange of fire. The military wing of Hamas took responsibility for the mortar shelling.

In a separate incident in the Rafah region Thursday, Givati soldiers from the Girit outpost shot and badly wounded a Palestinian marksman after spotting him near the Tel Sultan neighborhood.

In Qalqilyah on Thursday night, troops from the undercover Duvdevan unit killed Ibrahim Isa, local head of the Hamas military wing, along with an accomplice. Isa, a veteran Hamas activist, was involved in dispatching the suicide bomber who attacked the Hableh checkpoint about a month ago, injuring two soldiers. He was also implicated in an attempt to deploy a car bomb. The soldiers opened fire at the two wanted men, who were armed.

In Jenin, the Nahal brigade's operation code-named "Noah's Ark," which was launched Wednesday night, continued to target Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad networks in the wake of increased terror alerts. On Thursday the troops arrested a Tanzim activist and a senior local Hamas activist. In a separate incident, soldiers shot a Palestinian who was carrying a gun. The man was badly injured, transferred to Israel for medical treatment, but died shortly thereafter.