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Palestinian fighter killed, house destroyed in Israeli incursion near Tulkarem

March 12, 2008 9:31 A.M. (Updated: March 12, 2008 9:31 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces invaded the West Bank town of Seida, near the city of Tulkarem, on Wednesday morning, killing one fighter affiliated with the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades.

Several Israeli military vehicles and a bulldozer surrounded the home of Seida resident Mahmoud Hamad. An Islamic Jihad fighter who was in the house at the time, Salih Karkur, exchanged fire with the Israeli forces.

Eyewitnesses told Ma'an's reporter that they saw Karkur on the roof of the house shooting at the Israeli troops before the Israeli bulldozer began to demolish the building.

Ma'an's reporter watched the demolition from a nearby building. He said Karkur's body fell to the ground when the roof of the house collapsed. Israeli soldiers then shot again at Karkur's limp body, apparently to make certain he was dead.

Anger and humiliation

Following the killing, clashes erupted in the area between a crowd of stone-throwing Palestinian youths and the Israeli troops. The youths carried the Karkur's body through the town.

According to the wife of the house's owner, Umm Abdullah, Karkur had come to visit them in the morning. Shortly following Karkur's arrival, Israeli forces besieged the house and ordered the residents into the street before they chained Umm Abdullah's husband and abducted him.

She added that the Red Cross and the Palestinian Authority offered to negotiate with Karkur for his surrender in order to avoid the destruction of the house, but the Israeli troops rejected the offer.

A homemade explosive device and a Kalashnikov rifle were found near the body.

'Retaliation'

Sources in the Al-Quds Brigades said the deceased was an escort of a prominent leader of the group, Khalid Abu Sari, who was killed in Jenin months ago. The source said he also participated in the battle at Al-Ein refugee camp in Nablus in September in which an Israeli soldier was killed.

The group threatened to retaliate soon for the assassination of Karkur, who they said was one of their leaders.

Karkur was from the nearby town of Attil. He served seven years in Israeli jails.

***Updated at 11:06am Bethlehem time
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