5 Palestinians killed in weekend ops

Three IDF undercover soldiers wounded during clashes in Beit Lahiya.

IAF strike gaza 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
IAF strike gaza 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
At least five Palestinians were killed over the weekend during IDF operations in the northern Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Kalkilya. Two Palestinians were killed and three soldiers from an IDF undercover unit were wounded during clashes in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya Saturday. In Kalkilya, troops laid siege to the home of a senior Hamas member on Friday, killing three gunmen, and wounding more than 30 people, including two in critical condition, according to Palestinian hospital officials. Approximately 200 rioters attacked soldiers with rocks and firebombs shortly after they surrounded the home late Friday, the army said. The soldiers responded with warning shots and then live fire. A firefight with gunmen ensued, the army said. Overnight Friday, IAF aircraft destroyed the Gaza City home of a Hamas member - a neighbor of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. No one was wounded but several nearby buildings were damaged, Palestinian officials and witnesses said. Two other air strikes destroyed a weapons storehouses in the area a short time later. Secondary explosions indicated that the building contained large amounts of weapons and explosives, the IDF said. Hamas officials said the army had ordered the home's owner, a local Hamas commander, to evacuate the structure ahead of the air strike. The IDF usually issues such warnings, to avoid casualties, before destroying suspected weapons-storage facilities. Haniyeh was reportedly at home at the time. Late Thursday night, soldiers from the Duvdevan unit arrested senior Fatah-Tanzim leader Muhammad Zeitawi in Tulkarm. According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Zeitawi is responsible for the murder of eight Israelis, including restaurateurs Motti Dayan and Etgar Zeituni. Zeituni and Dayan, who owned the Yuppies Cafe on Rehov Sheinkin in Tel Aviv, were killed when they went to the West Bank town to buy plants together with an Israeli Arab friend in January 2001. The troops imposed a siege on Zeitawi's home on Thursday afternoon. When he refused to come out, IDF bulldozers started to destroy the structure, leading Zeitawi to surrender.