Hamas killing stirs tensions

RELATIVES OF a Palestinian intelligence officer, shot dead by fugitive Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip on Monday, demanded the death penalty yesterday for his three suspected killers. The family refused to receive traditional condolence visits until justice was done.

The killing rekindled tensions between Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Islamic opponents of peace with Israel, which were provoked by last October's Wye Agreement. Mr Arafat, who is in Washington this week urging President Bill Clinton to make Israel complete its promised West Bank withdrawal, is eager to show he is cracking down on the men of violence.

Captain Rafat Jouda, their latest victim, noticed the wanted men in the Sinai border town of Rafah and gave chase. A police spokesman said the captain opened fire when they refused to stop. The three shot back, fatally wounding him and an eight-year-old girl.

They were captured later in the Shati refugee camp. The men were identified as Ra'ed el Attar, Osama Abu Taha and Mohammed Abu Shamala. They appeared on a list of alleged killers presented by Israel to the PA during the Wye negotiations. They are accused of belonging to Hamas's military wing, Ezzedin al-Qassam.

Palestinian police later arrested dozens of Hamas protesters who stoned a police station. At the same time, the Hamas leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, launched a hunger strike in sympathy with Hamas activists held without trial.

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has frozen the Wye accords until after the election. He launched his re-election campaign this week under the slogan "A strong leader for a strong people". The three-month deadline for completing the current West Bank redeployment expired at the weekend with Israel still holding 11 of the 13 per cent of land it was due to hand over.

Mr Netanyahu justified the delay by accusing Mr Arafat of freeing 21 prisoners serving sentences for murdering Israelis and Americans.

Yediot Aharonot, Israel's biggest-selling daily newspaper, challenged Mr Netanyahu's contention that the PA is operating a "revolving door".

It said 197 Hamas activists had been arrested since October and were still being held in Palestinian prisons.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Purchase Ledger & Arrears Supervisor

£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are an experienced super...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Web Designer

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this leading ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss