Tuesday, June 10, 2003

"Israeli helicopter gunships swooped low over Gaza City this morning, firing up to seven rockets at a jeep carrying Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, the second most senior figure in Hamas.
Mr Rantissi leapt out of the vehicle and survived the attack, suffering wounds to his legs. A female passer-by and a bodyguard were killed, doctors said.
Hours later, Israeli helicopters launched a second attack on suspected militants in Gaza, killing three members of one family and wounding another 32 people. Hospital officials described the one woman and two men who were killed as civilians.
The Israeli army said that it launched the second attack, on Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp, after Palestinian militants fired five rockets into Israel, injuring at least one person in the nearby town of Sderot." The Guardian

How many deaths during and after Aqaba?

"Following the 4 June Aqaba summit between President Bush and Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the US media fell quickly into the pattern of ignoring or severely downplaying Israeli attacks on Palestinians, and playing up Palestinian counterviolence as a threat to a budding 'peace process.'

Yet The Guardian's Conal Urquhart reported that 'As George Bush talked about peace with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers, Israeli soldiers were raiding the refugee camp of Balata and the city of Nablus for the third day running.' ('Children shot in third day of Israeli army raids', The Guardian, 5 June 2003)

Urquhart described how 'screams echoed around the clinic' in the camp, 'as a woman brought her seven-year-old daughter in for treatment. She had been shot in the abdomen by an Israeli soldier' as the Aqaba summit took place. Later the same day, the report said, a boy was shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet.

According to the Red Crescent, The Guardian reported, 'some 50 people have been treated for bullet and shrapnel wounds' in two days.

Dr. Samir Abu Zarzur, the head of the casualty department at Rafiah hospital in Nablus, said that his department treated 32 people injured by the Israeli army on Tuesday, the day President Bush was meeting the Palestinians' Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders in Sharm Al-Sheikh and urging them to join a struggle against 'terrorism.'

'Twelve of the injured were children. One eight-year-old was shot in the face with a rubber-coated bullet. A young woman lost her eye and a young man lost a kidney. There are two or three still in a serious condition,' The Guardian quoted Abu Zarzur saying.

In a 7 June press release, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PCRS) reported that on 4 June, the day of the Aqaba summit, 'A PRCS ambulance on its way to rescue injured people in the Balata Camp was stopped by Israeli soldiers. Soldiers attacked the ambulance, hitting one of the EMTs on the face and head.' Under threats of further violence from the soldiers, the ambulance was forced to turn back."
The article is continued here.

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