Skip to comments.Israel captures Hamas founder
Posted on 03/03/2003 6:37:51 AM PST by McGruff
Sheikh Mohammed Taha is reported to be the first senior Hamas political leader to be arrested since the Palestinian uprising began in September 2000.
Eight Palestinians were reported to have been killed, including a pregnant woman and a child, when Israeli tanks, backed by helicopters, entered the camp at Bureij, in central Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Abdel Aziz Rantisi said Mohammed Taha's arrest was a big loss to the group, the Associated Press reported.
"But this does not mean that Hamas is going to stop resistance. Israel will pay a high price for all its crimes," he was quoted as saying.
The Palestinian Authority called on the United States to condemn the Israeli operation in Gaza.
Monday's raid was the second in as many days.
About 40 Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles, backing up infantry units, met strong resistance as they moved into the area.
The operation centred around Mohammed Taha's home.
Mohammed Taha's five sons - all said to be senior Hamas militants - were also arrested.
The Israeli army said Taha and several of his sons were involved in directing attacks on Israelis, Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reported on its website.
The Israeli army also said it had demolished four houses belonging to militants during the operation.
One of those who died was a pregnant woman who was buried under the rubble when her house was demolished, Palestinian medics said.
Clashes were also reported in the nearby Nusseirat refugee camp.
Palestinian sources said at least two of the dead were civilians, including a 13-year-old boy.
Thirty-five Palestinians are reported to have been wounded in Monday's raid.
Israel has launched a series of raids into Gaza since a bomb planted by the Islamic group Hamas killed four Israeli tank crewmen there a fortnight ago.
Sunday's incursion came after Israeli soldiers discovered and safely detonated a large roadside bomb, weighing over 100 kilograms (220 pounds), in the Khan Younis area.
Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz had pledged on Sunday that the raids would continue.
"In the Gaza Strip, we are going to intensify the pressure on Hamas, as we have done in the past weeks, and we are going to do the same thing in the West Bank."
During the 29-month-long Palestinian uprising, Israel has frequently targeted the family homes of militants in an attempt to discourage attacks on its citizens.
Palestinians condemn the measure as collective punishment.
More than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 700 Israelis have been killed since the present intifada erupted in September 2000.
All right! Go Israel! A flounder of Hamas and his five "militant" sons. Not bad.
How's your INTIFADA going now Yasser?
Tough weekend for guys named Sheikh Mohammed.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.