Palestinian killed during Nablus raid

IDF troops take over local TV and radio, broadcast names of wanted terrorists.

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February 26, 2007 13:23
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Medics said one Palestinian was killed on Monday, as IDF troops sealed off the center of Nablus's old city with cement blocks and trash containers and moved from apartment to apartment in search of seven Palestinian fugitives whose names the army broadcast over local TV and radio stations. According to the medics, the 42-year-old Palestinian, Anan al-Teibi, was killed by a bullet to the neck while he was in his home in the old city. The man's son was wounded and evacuated to a hospital, the medics said. A neighbor, Nashaat Hijawi, said al-Teibi was hit by shots on the house fired from a passing Israeli army jeep. The army said it had fired at "suspicious characters" on the rooftop of a building, killing one man and injuring another. It was the largest IDF raid in the West Bank in months, with about 80 jeeps, armored vehicles and bulldozers moving around Nablus for a second day Monday. On Sunday, troops enforced a curfew that confined tens of thousands of Palestinians to their homes. Soldiers also uncovered two explosives labs in what the army said would be an open-ended sweep. Palestinian officials charged that the offensive threatened efforts to restart peace negotiations. Among the weapons found were a 'Lau' type missile, five pipe bombs and a large explosive device. Many smaller explosive devices and various types of guns were found by the IDF. On Monday, soldiers operated simultaneously in several areas of Nablus, including the old city, or casbah, a densely populated terrorist stronghold with small alleys. Access roads to the old city were blocked by cement blocs and large trash containers, witnesses said. Residents said soldiers moved from house to house, searching every room. Seven members of the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent offshoot of the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, were the apparent target of the raid. In a new tactic, troops broke into transmissions of local TV and radio stations Sunday and broadcast the names of the men, all residents of the old city. Soldiers warned civilians against hiding the fugitives. Abir Kilani, director of the local TV station Gama, said her broadcasts were interrupted several times by the army. Kilani noted that this method is much more effective and cheaper than the military's previous tactic of dropping leaflets with messages to residents. In another area of Nablus, soldiers surrounded a three-story residential building Monday, but did not encounter resistance or find wanted men. One apartment was burned in the operation, witnesses said. Dozens of Al Aksa gunmen operate in Nablus, organized in small groups without a central authority. Residents have complained that some of the gunmen are terrorizing the city by settling personal scores in shooting attacks, acting as self-appointed vice squads or engaging in blackmail. Two Al Aksa gunmen, brothers Ahmed and Alaa Sanakra, said all fugitives had gone into hiding, but were communicating with each other. Alaa Sanakra said the IDF raid helped unite the splintered groups, but left the gunmen worried. The Nablus operation began before dawn Sunday, with bulldozers closing main roads with piles of rubble. Soldiers ordered residents to remain indoors and said the clampdown would remain in effect for several days. The army said the road closures and curfew were necessary to avoid civilian casualties.

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