Israelis kill professor and son, 16, in Nablus battle

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The Independent Online

A University professor educated in the United States and his teenage son were shot dead by Israel soldiers as they tried to leave their home under military orders during a commando raid on Nablus, it was alleged yesterday.

A University professor educated in the United States and his teenage son were shot dead by Israel soldiers as they tried to leave their home under military orders during a commando raid on Nablus, it was alleged yesterday.

Khaled Sallah, who taught computer sciences at the West Bank city's A-Najah university for 25 years, was killed with his son during a protracted battle between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants which also claimed the life of an Israeli officer, Captain Moran Vardi, 25, and at least two militants.

Relatives said Professor Sallah and his son, Mohammed, 16, were killed after two hours in which the family cowered on the floor of their apartment as Israeli soldiers machine-gunned the building and helicopters pounded the roof with rockets, trading fire with a gunman on the roof of the building in the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp.

Major Sharon Feingold, an Israeli army spokeswoman, said the military regretted the deaths of the two civilians but added: "Any time the terrorists use civilians as cover these things happen." She said the army believed that Professor Sallah, who received his doctorate at the University of California, and his son had been hit by shrapnel from the three rockets fired by the helicopter.

The dead man's daughter, Diana, said her father and brother were shot when the army called on residents to come out. The door lock had been damaged during the fighting and the family could not leave. Her father went to a window and called to the soldiers in English, telling them they were trapped, and was shot, she said. His son, who went to help him, was also shot.

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