Israeli soldiers assassinated, on Monday at dawn, a fighter in Qabatia town, south of the West Bank city of Jenin, raising the number of fighters killed in Qabatia since Sunday evening to three, at least ten residents were injured, and six others were arrested.

Two fighters were shot and killed on Sunday evening after Israeli soldiers, supported by several armored vehicles and jeeps, invaded Qabatia and surrounded a home in Zakarna neighborhood.

An Israeli security source reported that Jihad Mohammad Zakarna, 29, who was killed on Sunday evening, planned the Hadera suicide bombing which was carried out on Wednesday, October 26, 2005, at least five Israelis were killed and thirty others were injured.

Irshaiyyed Ahmad Kamil, 21, was also killed with Zakarna on Sunday evening; the third resident who was killed on Monday at dawn is still unidentified.

The military operation was carried out after the soldiers, supported by military helicopters, invaded Qabatia and opened fire at dozens of homes in Zakarna neighborhood before forcing the families out; seven residents were injured.

Seven residents, said to be members of the Islamic Jihad were arrested during the operation.

One of the injured residents, identified as Mohammad Hisham Assaf, 21, suffered serious injuries after sustaining a live round in his head; Assaf was transferred to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, while the rest of the injured residents were transferred to Jenin Hospital.

The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security condemned the military escalation and considered it “state terrorism”.

“We in the Palestinian National Authority condemn the Israeli military escalation and the assassination of the three residents”, the ministry reported, “Shelling Palestinian homes, killing and injuring the residents, and barring the ambulances from evacuating them is considered state terrorism”.

Also, the ministry stated that these operations do not serve the peace process and the efforts to maintain clam in the area, adding that it is considered a direct violation to the principle of human rights.

Israeli Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz said that the army will continue its strikes against the Islamic Jihad movement until dismantling its infrastructure.

After the three fighters were killed, dozens of fighters of the Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Brigades, the military wing of Fateh, and Al Qassam Brigades, exchanged fire with the army for several hours.

Hundreds of residents also clashed with the soldiers, closed several streets in the town and clashed with the army.

Two residents killed in Jenin

Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & Agencies

 A Palestinian security source in Tulkarem reported on Sunday evening that two residents were killed after the Israeli army invaded the West Bank town of Qabatia, near Jenin.

The two residents are said to be a members of the Islamic Jihad. Soldiers invaded Qabatia, south of Jenin, and surrounded a home apparently used as a hideout by Islamic Jihad fighters, and heavily fired live rounds at the home.

Two military helicopters wee also hovering over the area, and fired rounds of live ammunition at the home, and several surrounding homes.

The Palestinian News Agency, WAFA, reported that soldiers are still surrounding the home, and closed all of the entrances of the village, in addition to closing Al Shuhada junction, at the main entrance of the village barring the residents from entering or leaving it. The attacked home belongs to resident Mohammad Nazzal.