Israel kills six Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza
Saturday 26 December 2009
Israeli soldiers shot and killed six Palestinians in two separate incidents on Saturday in the occupied West and the Gaza Strip, in one of the most deadly outbreaks of violence in months.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians suspected of trying to infiltrate from Hamas-ruled coastal Gaza, and Palestinian medics and sources said three militants were killed in a West Bank raid.
The violence came a day before the anniversary of a Gaza war that killed some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, and underscored rising tensions as U.S.-sponsored peace talks have remained stalled for a year.
There was no immediate Palestinian comment on the Gaza shooting.
In the West Bank, Palestinian medics and witnesses said soldiers surrounded the homes of three members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, and then killed all three.
The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the raid which took place two days after the same group was one of two to claim responsibility for the fatal shooting of an Israeli on Thursday on a West Bank road.
The Israeli had been the first killed in a Palestinian attack in about eight months in the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek for a state.
Sources in Fatah said those who were killed in the West Bank raid belonged to their group. The sources said all three of the dead had been disarmed under security measures taken by Abbas's police force and at least one had previously been on an Israeli wanted list.
Abbas has demanded a halt to Jewish settlement building before peace talks delayed since a Gaza war in January may resume, and has rejected a temporary building freeze announced last month by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as insufficient.
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