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(photo credit: AP [file])
Palestinians accused the IDF on Friday of killing a 10-year-old girl in the village of Yamun near Jenin during a raid in search of wanted terror suspects.
The army said it was looking into the reports that policemen had killed Akbar Zayed, but confirmed that an elite Border Police unit hunting down terror suspects had opened fire at a suspicious cab that approached an area that the unit had cordoned off.
Soldiers stormed Yamun on Friday in search of Islamic Jihad terrorists who, according to intelligence, were hiding in one of the village homes. The army surrounded several homes inside the village but failed to capture the fugitives.
During the operation, the army said, policemen spotted a suspicious taxi approaching the area they had closed off. After the cab driver ignored warnings to pull over to the side of the road, the unit opened fire at the vehicle. But Kamal Zayed, the girl's uncle who was driving the car, said three men ran toward the car and before he could turn off the engine they fired on him.
"I saw them behind the fence. There were more than 30 soldiers. The first bullet hit my niece. She got a bullet in the head from the very beginning," Zayed recalled from his hospital bed, where he was being treated Saturday for gunshot wounds in his arm and leg. When the gunfire erupted, Zayed had just arrived at the clinic where his niece was to have her stitches removed.
"I started to yell ... opened the door and started taking her out of the car to get her into the clinic. They (the soldiers) yelled at me to put her on the ground, started shooting in the air. I don't know what they shot at," Zayed said.
Later, Zayed said he was pulled out of the ambulance by soldiers and interrogated for more than two hours before being allowed to receive medical treatment. The army later partially destroyed a house in the village while rounding up members of the Zayed family whom they detained at a military base for several hours, residents said.
Meanwhile Friday, two bombs - one weighing 15 kilograms - were discovered by soldiers on a road leading to Nablus. The bombs were destroyed by IDF sappers in controlled explosions. At the Hawarah checkpoint near Nablus, IDF troops on Friday arrested two armed Palestinians, one in possession of a homemade gun and one carrying a knife.
In Gaza, shots were fired at an IDF outpost near the Kissufim crossing. No one was injured. Two members of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades were also killed on Friday and three were wounded after a Kassam rocket they tried to fire at Israel blew up prematurely.
AP contributed to this report.