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Hamas activist dead after Israeli troops demolish Hebron home, crushing him

July 27, 2008 9:12 A.M. (Updated: July 27, 2008 9:12 A.M.)
Hebron - Ma'an - Twenty-five-year-old Shihab Ad-Dein Natshah was killed by Israeli forces near Hebron.

Natshah was a Palestinian activist affiliated with the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. He was killed by Israeli forces after they demolished a house were he was hiding in the Shi'b Al-Milh region between the southern West Bank city of Hebron and the nearby town of Taffuh, eyewitnesses say.

The witnesses added that Israeli forces besieged the home on Saturday at seven in the evening. Palestinian medics reported seeing fire erupt from the besieged home, and other witnesses said heavy gunfire was heard in the area and at least 15 Israeli military vehicles were present. The military operation went through the night, with palpable tension in the area. Israeli forces summoned back-up forces accompanied by a military bulldozer to the area.

Early Saturday evening Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians from the besieged home. Eyewitnesses identified two of them as Wael Al-Bitar, the owner of the house and Abdul-Qadir Natshah. The identity of the third arrestee is unknown.

Israeli media sources have reported that soldiers fired a shell at the building Natshah was in, after he refused to surrender and opened fire at troops. At 5am Sunday morning the troops began to demolish the home, killing Natshah.

Palestinian medics and fire fighters from Hebron said they exhumed parts of Natshah's body from under the wreck of the house, and were searching for the rest of the body.

Natshah's mother "Um 'Izzat" told Ma'an, "Israeli occupation soldiers took me from my home at midnight by force and made me to ask my son to surrender through loudspeakers."

She added, "then they demolished the house over my son, and at 4:00 am they asked me to identify his body which was torn to pieces. When I tried to identify the body, they refused telling me it was fragments and could not be identified."

Meanwhile, Natshah's father, Abdul-Aziz, said he refused to accompany Israeli soldiers and ask his son to surrender. "It is impossible that I ask my son to surrender," he said.

Israeli intelligence has accused Natshah of providing logistic support to the Palestinian who blew himself up in Dimona in southern Israel on 4 February 2008.

***updated 9:31am local time
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