newprofile message 880 from 19.12.2006
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent and News agencies
Israel Defense Forces troops on Tuesday opened fire on two teenaged Palestinian girls approaching the separation fence near the West Bank town of Tul Karm, killing one and wounding the other.
The slain girl was identified as 14-year-old Da'ah Abed al-Kadr, and her wounded friend was named as 12-year-old Rasha Shalbi.
IDF sources said troops opened fire when they noticed a suspicious figure approaching the fence, some 100 meters away. The commanding officer at the scene fired a shot into the air, and a soldier opened fire on the approaching figure.
The bullet penetrated al-Kadr in her hand, leaving her seriously wounded. She died on the way to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Palestinian sources said the second girl, Shalbi, was seriously wounded, but IDF sources said she suffered only from shock.
The IDF called the incident a very serious matter, adding that the soldier who fired the shots had not been authorized to shoot. Preliminary results of a probe have revealed that the soldier opened fire of his own accord.
The IDF Central Command ordered the officer and the soldier who fired the shots suspended from all activities. The IDF has opened an investigation into the matter.
Earlier Tuesday, undercover Israeli security forces in the West Bank shot dead two Palestinian militants in separate incidents, one of them a commander of the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Tul Karm, Palestinian officials said.
They said Mohammed Minas, 23, an Al-Aqsa commander in northern Tul Karm, was shot down by undercover Border Police troops, and a second man was arrested in the raid.
In the afternoon, an undercover border police unit raided the village of Zayde, northeast of Tul Karm, and infiltrated Minas's garage.
Army sources stated that Minas noticed the troops, drew his pistol and was shot dead by the soldiers. In his car, troops found two explosive devices, which IDF sappers then dismantled.
Earlier in the day, a special undercover Israeli police unit opened fire at three Palestinians near a hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus early Tuesday, killing one and wounding two, medical sources said.
The army said its troops identified a vehicle carrying three wanted men, surrounded it and opened fire when the men attempted to escape.
The special unit shot and killed a gunman identified as Alaa Anav, 24, of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs, and injured two other members of the group, while they were sitting in a car near the Ittihad hospital, the sources said.
Israeli media reported that the Israeli force attempted to arrest the three and opened fire when they tried to escape.
Witnesses reported that shortly after the shooting, a large army force raided the hospital to arrest the two wounded Palestinians and blocked entrances to the Balata refugee camp while it conducted military operations there.
According to IDF sources, the wanted men were involved in the planning of suicide attacks in Israel and received training from Hizbollah in Lebanon.