Seven Palestinians injured in IAF strike on Hamas radio station


02/05/2004 An Israeli helicopter launched three missiles at a 14-story Palestinian building in the middle of Gaza City on Sunday evening, just hours after a pregnant Jewish settler and her four young daughters were killed by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza. Seven Palestinians suffered light injuries in the strike, on a building that housed the offices for a radio station affiliated with Hamas and also offices of the Palestinian newspaper Al Ayyam and Al Quds. Palestinian sources told Haaretz that a Hamas official was being interviewed at the station when the missiles hit. The Israel Defense Forces said that the army attacked a Hamas radio station that had been broadcasting incitement. Army Radio quoted a Hamas official as saying in response that „[Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon cannot harm out leaders, so he chooses instead [to strike at] institutions and media outlets.” Part of the building’s roof was collapsed and screaming women stood on the balconies. People ran in panic through the streets after the attack on the building of apartments and businesses in the upscale Rimal neighborhood. Earlier on Sunday, security personnel at the Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip found an explosive belt hidden in a Palestinian truck attempting to leave the Strip. The truck was set to make its way to the West Bank. The Karni crossing was reopened Sunday morning after a similar incident last week when security officers discovered an explosive belt in a container of textiles also bound for the West Bank. Police last week detained the driver of the vehicle, a resident of Rahat in the Negev, for questioning. The driver of the truck involved in Sunday’s incident was also taken in for questioning and is reportedly a close relative of the man detained last week. Mofaz: Israel thwarted 11 suicide attacks in April Israeli security forces thwarted 11 suicide bombings in April, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the cabinet during its weekly meeting on Sunday. He also said terror organizations are attempting to carry out more complex attacks on Israeli targets and added that Hamas is under increased pressure and is facing financial difficulties. Two Palestinians, one of them eight-year-old boy, were shot dead by Israel Defense Forces troops during separate incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Saturday. Witnesses said eight-year-old Hussein Abu Eker died after he was hit in the head and arm by live fire from an IDF tank during an IDF raid in Khan Yunis refugee camp. The operation sparked clashes with Palestinian gunmen and stone-throwing youths. There was no immediate comment from the IDF on the shooting. Seven more Palestinians, including another child, were also wounded in the clashes, Palestinian medics said. It was unclear if any of the injured were militants. Eker’s cousin, Ichlas, said Eker was on his way to pray at a mosque in the area with his brothers. „Tanks started to open heavy fire towards the area,” she said. „Hussein fell in front of the mosque and the others fell near him. He was bleeding for more than 30 minutes before ambulances could reach him because of the heavy shooting.” An IDF spokesman said that Palestinian militants had earlier fired an anti-tank missile at an army force adjacent to a nearby settlement. Soldiers fired at them but didn’t identify a hit. Troops were not in Khan Yunis at the time, the spokesman said. In the West Bank city of Nablus, troops shot dead 22-year-old Jamal Hamdan, who was participating in stone-throwing attacks on Israeli soldiers on Saturday. The military said soldiers in a patrol vehicle identified the man as being armed and fired towards him, but Palestinian witnesses said the man was unarmed and was shot by troops who took position in a nearby building to observe the clashes. Also Saturday, IDF soldiers shot and wounded three Palestinians in Rafah refugee camp and near the northern Gaza village of Beit Lahia, witnesses said. Military sources said two militants tried to infiltrate a settlement near the village and soldiers fired shots in the air and later shots towards them, but could not confirm if they were hit. Also Saturday, Zacharia Drarma, 18, sustained seriously wounds after being hit in the head by a rubber bullet during clashes with IDF troops in the West Bank village of Tubas, south of Nablus, Israel Radio quoted Palestinian sources as saying. Three Palestinians were lightly wounded in the clashes. Military sources said that a small IDF force entered the village to thwart the transfer of explosives, and was attacked with rocks and firebombs. According to the military sources, the troops fired rubber bullets in an effort to disperse the crowd. Two IDF soldiers lightly hurt by Gaza missile Two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded Friday morning by an anti-tank missile Palestinians fired at an IDF outpost in the Gaza settlement bloc of Gush Katif, Israel Radio reported. Early on Saturday, Palestinians fired at an IDF outpost near the West Bank settlement of Kadim near Jenin, Israel Radio reported. There were no casualties or damage reported. BPI.