Israeli troops shoot Hebron family

Israeli soldiers have killed an unarmed 67-year-old Palestinian and wounded four members of his family in a raid in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Yehia al-Jabari was shot dead by soldiers who raided his home on Wednesday to detain one of his sons.

An Israeli army spokesman said the army was searching a house in Hebron for wanted suspects.

He said that its troops were attacked by residents who threw a gas canister at them and one Palestinian man tried to grab the weapon of a soldier “who was forced to open fire”.

Residents of Hebron disputed the army’s version of events.

One witness said: “They [Israeli soldiers] came like wild dogs and when they did, they opened the door and started shooting. The soldier killed an old man, the head of the household.

“His wife came out screaming so the soldier shot her and then he shot his brother and then the children. Go and look at the house. It’s a pool of blood.”

One relative of the victim said the shooting was indiscriminate.

“He [an Israeli soldier] shot the boy inside and then the two girls and my wife in the other room. In every room he opened fire,” he said.

Covered in blood

Witnesses at the scene accused the Israeli soldiers of firing at young children. Al-Jabari’s daughter was still covered in blood when she described what happened.

She said: “My mother told the soldier to stay away from him, from my father. And then he shot him and my mother yelled ‘you bastard’ and then he shot my mother and then shot and wounded my brother Rajeh.
“They shot my brothers and the children.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft struck a group of armed fighters in the northern Gaza Strip, killing one man and wounding another, Palestinian officials said.

The army said it had identified a group of fighters planting explosives in northern Gaza and targeted them from the air.

The Hamas movement said in a radio broadcast that the dead man belonged to the group.

It was the first Israeli air raid since Friday.

Summit postponed

Against this backdrop of continued violence, a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, planned for Thursday has been postponed indefinitely.

“The summit has been postponed because difficulties emerged in the preparations. More discussions are needed to prepare for the summit,” Nabil Amr, an aide to Abbas, said on Wednesday.

The summit would have been the first between the two leaders since April 15 despite plans to hold regular meetings.

Abbas earlier this week accused Israel of trying to limit the agenda for the talks, saying he had intended to highlight Palestinian concerns over the separation barrier, settlement building, prisoners and withheld tax receipts.

But Ziad Abu Amr, the Palestinian foreign minister, said Abbas and Olmert would be invited to a meeting in Egypt of the four sponsors of the stalled peace process on June 25.

*Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Israeli troops shoot Hebron family – 05 June 07

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