- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
Palestinians: Israeli troops mistakenly killed man
HEBRON, West Bank (AP) — Israeli troops mistakenly shot and killed a 65-year-old Palestinian man in his bed during a pre-dawn raid Friday to arrest a Hamas militant in the West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli officials said.
Late Friday, four Israeli solders were wounded in a firefight with Palestinian militants on the Gaza border, Israeli media reported. Israel's military confirmed the casualties, but would not elaborate.
Palestinian security and rescue officials in the West Bank city of Hebron said Israeli troops shot and killed 65-year-old Omar Kawasmeh, who lived in the same building but on a different floor as the Hamas militant targeted in the early morning raid.
Associated Press Television footage showed a bloodstained bed and shell casings in Mr. Kawasmeh’s bedroom.
The military said Mr. Bitar planned suicide bombings before his arrest by the Palestinian Authority two years ago. One of the suicide bombings killed an Israeli woman and injured ten other civilians in southern Israel in 2008.
Mr. Bitar was one of six Hamas fighters released from prison Thursday by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian officials said. The militants, who had launched a hunger strike to protest their incarceration, were freed following a series of high-level contacts between Hamas officials and Palestinian Authority officials, as well as an intervention by the emir of Qatar.
The Israeli military said five of the freed militants — including the target of the raid in which the man was killed — were arrested overnight.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority has cracked down on Hamas in areas of the West Bank under its control. Hamas, an Islamic group backed by Iran, runs a competing Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas regularly condemns the Palestinian Authority for its cooperation with Israel, and did so again after Mr. Kawasmeh’s death Friday. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the Palestinian Authority and Israel were “equal in their responsibility” for the killing.
The Palestinian Authority wields limited authority in the West Bank under Israel’s overall security control. While Palestinian forces trained by the U.S. have become more effective, Israel still deems them incapable of preventing attacks on Israel and Israeli forces regularly carry out arrest raids in West Bank cities.
The violence later Friday along the Gaza border broke out after Palestinian gunmen used the cover of heavy rain to plant bombs along the frontier and then ambush Israeli soldiers on guard there, Israeli media reported.
No Palestinian militant group took responsibility for the attack. Palestinians living near the border told the Associated Press they heard loud explosions. Palestinian militants frequently plant explosives along the border with Israel and attack Israeli soldiers guarding the buffer zone.
Violence in the Hamas-ruled territory has declined since Israel’s Gaza offensive two years ago. The campaign aimed to end years of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, but rocket fire and border clashes still occur occasionally.
Also Friday, several hundred Palestinians, Israelis and international activists attended a weekly demonstration against the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Dr. Ben Carson disavows efforts at presidential draft
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topics will include politics, religion, race, culture, and anything else that needs to be discussed...
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow