Israel attacks four Palestinian sites

Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel attacked four targets associated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement before dawn today, a day after a bloody Palestinian “independence day” took eight Palestinian lives.

The army said it hit Fatah headquarters in the West Bank towns of Salfit, Tulkarm and Hebron, as well as an armory in Jericho. Palestinian security officials confirmed the attack in Salfit, and said two men living in neighboring houses were injured – one seriously.

The helicopter attacks – described by the army as “pre-emptive” – were apparently Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s promised retaliation for drive-by shootings in the West Bank and Gaza on Monday that killed four Israelis, two civilians and two soldiers.

Wednesday was the 12th anniversary of a symbolic declaration of independence made by Arafat while he was in exile. All over the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians marched to mark the day, and many of the processions turned into clashes with Israeli forces. As young Palestinians threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli forces, others aimed rifle fire at the Israelis.

Israeli soldiers killed eight Palestinians Wednesday, and another died of injuries received earlier. Since the fighting erupted Sept. 28, 219 people have been killed, the vast majority young Palestinians.

Despite the highest one-day toll since Oct. 20, Israeli and Palestinian leaders talked tentatively about peace, though the prospect seemed dim.

The intense fighting was a sad contrast to the funeral of Leah Rabin, widow of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The Israeli leader was assassinated five years ago by a Jewish extremist who opposed his peace initiatives. Mrs. Rabin died Sunday of cancer.

First lady Hillary Clinton – the newly elected U.S. senator from New York – headed a list of dignitaries and ambassadors at the funeral, but no Arab leaders attended.

In what appeared to be a gesture to the Israeli people, Arafat gave a videotaped eulogy that was broadcast on Israeli television. He said, “I put with all the respects a flower from Palestine on your coffin, renewing my commitment for peace.” The eulogy was not broadcast on Palestinian television.

But exchanges of gunfire, not talk of peace, set the tone Wednesday.

“The political rhetoric has been replaced by field action,” Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi said in apparent reference to recent Palestinian ambushes of Israeli soldiers and settlers on roads in the West Bank and Gaza Strip..”

Arafat has repeatedly pledged this year would bring Palestinian sovereignty, but the current hostility has eliminated any chance of a negotiated settlement for now. He has also backed away from unilaterally declaring an independent state.

Israel, which suspended peace talks amid the violence, said it would not resume negotiations until calm is restored.

“We are in the middle of a march of folly, and this tragic situation needs to be brought to an end,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside WSP District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed in a collision on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State trooper killed, 1 arrested in crash on I-5 near Marysville

Authorities said Trooper Chris Gadd had been stopped along the freeway around 3 a.m. near 136th Street NE. A Lynnwood driver, 32, was arrested.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Madi Humphries, 9, Rose Austin, 13, and Eirene Ritting, 8, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No grades, no teachers: Inside a Bothell school run by student vote

Each day at The Clearwater School, 60 students choose their own lessons. It’s one vote per person, whether you’re staff or student.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Following lawsuit, Providence commits to improved care for Deaf patients

Three patients from Snohomish County sued Providence in 2022 for alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Cars drive through snow along I-5 in Snohomish County, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
In March, 7 p.m. sunsets are back for Western Washington

Washingtonians will finally start seeing more sun starting March 10. But a little more winter could be on the way first.

One of the parking lots at Stevens Pass Thursday afternoon on December 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Stevens Pass to charge $20 for parking reservations on busy days

Two-thirds of spaces will remain free for early arrivers on weekends. Cars with four or more occupants can also park free.

Lynnwood
Days after shootout with Lynnwood police, suspect checks into hospital

Police learned the 18-year-old was in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. His alleged role in the shooting remained unclear.

Everett
Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.