Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Palestinians Who Live Nearby Protest against Attack on Hideout

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Palestinians Who Live Nearby Protest against Attack on Hideout

Article excerpt

Palestinians battled Israeli soldiers throughout the occupied lands on Thursday to protest against the army's siege of an Islamic militant hideout. Nearly 40 people were wounded in the protests.

For 22 hours Tuesday and Wednesday, Israeli soldiers fired rockets and machine guns at the hideout in a crowded Hebron neighborhood. Before the siege ended, four suspected militants and one bystander were killed and two bystanders were wounded.

On Thursday, the army kept its soldiers around the destroyed hideout as bulldozers finished knocking down the three-story building and crews searched for bodies in the rubble. Soldiers pulled out three bodies.

Army officials did not know whether other militants had somehow escaped the relentless assault. Five Israeli soldiers, including two senior officers, were wounded in the fighting.

In reaction Thursday, protests erupted in urban centers throughout the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Soldiers clashed with youths in Hebron, which has been under curfew for a month since the Feb. 25 massacre of 30 Palestinian worshipers in the mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Hospitals reported five Palestinians were wounded in Thursday's fighting, including three in clashes that erupted when onlookers saw soldiers removing bodies from the hideout.

A curfew was imposed on Nablus, the West Bank's largest city, after 15 people were wounded by army gunfire, hospital officials said. At least three people were wounded in smaller towns. In the Gaza Strip, 16 Palestinians suffered injuries from rubber bullets and live fire.

The army claimed that the firefight around the militants' hideout involved the senior leadership of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, responsible for a number of fatal attacks against Israel in the area.

Palestinian sources confirmed that the four believed killed in the hideout were members of the armed underground of Hamas. …

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