Deadly Israeli Raids in West Bank and Gaza

July 10, 2004

On June 26, Israel launched a military operation targeting top Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This on-going operation has already left nearly 20 Palestinians dead, with many more wounded.

In the city of Nablus, fierce fighting erupted when Israel launched a raid on June 26, killing six top leaders in Nablus. Another Palestinian was killed by a booby trap set by Israeli soldiers. On July 5, another raid in the city led to the killing of five Palestinians.

On July 1, Israeli troops, tanks, and armored vehicles stormed into Jericho and Nablus, sealing off the towns and imposing a curfew. A nine-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead during the raid. During the fighting, Israeli tanks were called in for reinforcement and Israeli helicopters fired missiles into residential buildings. At one point, Israeli soldiers with loudspeakers ordered the residents to evacuate buildings. When Palestinians obeyed the orders, and exited the structures, they were shot dead. Medical officials and neighbors said an emergency medical unit was prohibited from entering the area by Israeli soldiers who had declared the street a closed military zone.

On July 8, Israeli occupation troops backed by helicopters and armored bulldozers killed at least 8 Palestinians, and injured many others in two separate incursions into the Gaza Strip.