Israeli troops kill Palestinian.........
Find a Conversation
|Mon, 06-07-2010 - 9:41am|
Israel claimed to have foiled a terrorist attack on Monday after one of its naval patrols killed four Palestinian militants dressed in wetsuits in the waters off Gaza.
Video at link........
The pre-dawn incident will raise fears in Israel that militant groups in Gaza are trying to avenge last week's deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship attempting to breach its maritime blockade of the territory.
Hours after the pre-dawn incident, Israeli war planes also launched air strikes inside Gaza against a group of fighters allegedly preparing to fire a rocket into Israeli territory. One man was seriously wounded, according to officials in Gaza.
An Israeli army spokesman said that the militants on board were wearing diving gear and were planning to carry out "a terror attack". But he declined to say whether the men were carrying weapons or explosives and he would not identify their intended target.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a Palestinian militant group, said the four men killed were part of its marine unit, but insisted they were merely on a training mission and were not planning to carry out an attack.
The military wing of the moderate Fatah faction that controls the West Bank, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades carried out dozens of suicide bombings against Israeli targets during the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising. Most of its attacks came between 2001 and 2003.
But the group, a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias, has largely observed a ceasefire against Israel in recent years and the vast majority of its fighters have been disarmed and incorporated into the western-backed Palestinian security services.
Its presence in Gaza is thought to be small. The territory is dominated by its Hamas overlords, bitter rivals of the Fatah party led by Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority.
According to the online edition of one Israeli newspaper, the pre-dawn attack was launched by the Shayetet 13, the elite naval special forces unity that carried out last week's raid on the Mavi Marmara, killing nine of the activists on board.
Attempts by Palestinian groups to launch seaborne attacks on Israeli targets are rare but not unheard of.
In March, a number of barrels filled with explosives that washed up on Israeli beaches were allegedly the work of militant groups in Gaza. They were all successfully defused by Israeli sappers and caused no injuries.
Tensions rise in Israel after Jerusalem bulldozer attack
Israeli warplane bombs Gaza's smuggling tunnels
Hamas and Israel exchange further attacks in Gaza despite ceasefire
Israel declares Gaza ceasefire but Hamas still defiant
Britain says Israel ceasefire in Gaza is 'huge relief' after three week bloodshed
Analysis: Israel's Gaza offensive also confronts Iran