TEL, West Bank In a 10-hour raid on a Palestinian village, Israeli troops killed an Islamic militant and arrested 45 residents, including 16 persons on Israel’s wanted list.
Israel also continued to hold parts of two Palestinian towns in the northern region of the West Bank. Troops moved into six towns after the Oct. 17 assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister. Officials said they were delaying a pullback from the last two because of intelligence reports of attempts by Palestinian militants to mount attacks in Israel.
The United States has repeatedly criticized the Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas and called on Israel to withdraw and stay out.
Also yesterday, the government charged an Israeli Arab lawmaker with incitement to violence after he made speeches in Syria and at home praising Lebanese guerrillas for causing the Israeli army’s withdrawal from south Lebanon.
The legislator, Azmi Bishara, said he is innocent and will prove this in court.
In the latest Israeli incursion into the West Bank, soldiers moved into the village of Tel, next to the city of Nablus, around 2 a.m. Sealing off the village, they went from house to house, arresting suspected militants.
At one house, soldiers shot and killed Mohammed Reihan, 25, a senior member of the Islamic militant group Hamas. Mr. Reihan had been on Israel’s wanted list since 1998 for the killing of two residents of the nearby Jewish settlement of Yitzhar.
Mr. Reihan’s father, Yussef, 57, said Israeli soldiers surrounded his house and opened fire, and Mohammed went outside with a rifle, where he was killed. Then, he said, soldiers allowed the women to go to a nearby house while they strip-searched the men.
The Israeli military said troops came under fire during the raid and returned fire, killing one of the gunmen.
The army said soldiers detained 45 residents of Tel. In a statement, the military said 16 were on wanted lists for a long time and belonged to the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as the Tanzim militia, affiliated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group.
The statement said the detainees were turned over to Israeli security services for questioning. Also, the military said, many weapons were found during the incursion.
Mr. Arafat yesterday appealed to Arab and Muslim leaders to support the Palestinian uprising against Israel during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins later this week.
Mr. Arafat said the Palestinians were determined not to end their struggle against Israel, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The charges against Mr. Bishara were submitted in a Jerusalem court. A second indictment, charging him with organizing illegal trips to Syria for Arab Israelis, was filed in his hometown of Nazareth.
Mr. Bishara has praised the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas for causing the withdrawal of the Israeli army from south Lebanon.