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Archive for Sunday, October 23, 2005

Israeli army: Mother found hiding grenade under baby

October 23, 2005

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— A Palestinian woman was found Saturday hiding a hand grenade under her baby during a West Bank arrest raid, an Israeli army officer said.

But the woman, Aziza Jawabra, said the grenade was in the pocket of her jacket and she did not know it was there.

The grenade discovery was made while soldiers searched a house in the town of Assira a-Shimaliya, north of Nablus. Soldiers arrested five fugitives, including Jawabra's husband, Lt. Col. Arik Chen told The Associated Press. The troops also found 22 pounds of explosives hidden in a suitcase in the house, he added.

Israel has often accused Palestinian militants of hiding explosives in residential areas and of firing on troops from homes. Palestinian civilians have been killed when bombmakers have inadvertently blown up explosives.

Most recently, 21 Palestinians were killed and dozens were wounded when homemade rockets went off accidentally during a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip.

In a separate incident in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot and killed an 18-year-old Palestinian suspected of planting a bomb on a road not far from the city of Ramallah, the army said. A second Palestinian arrested in the incident admitted the pair were planning to plant a fake bomb, the army said.

The soldiers searched Jawabra after they became suspicious of the way she was carrying her month-old son. Jawabra was holding the grenade just under the baby's backside, Chen said.

"To see a woman using her baby to hide a grenade is not typical," Chen said.

Jawabra said the arrest raid was traumatic. The troops arrived at the house about 2 a.m. and forced her to leave the house with her children, refusing to let her get dressed or put on shoes. Forced to walk in front of the troops, Jawabra said the soldiers tried to get her to hand the baby to someone else, but she refused.

"The grenade was in the pocket of a jacket I was wearing," Jawabra said.

Jawabra said she did not know the grenade was in the jacket pocket or that explosives were hidden in the house.

Near Nablus, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian gunman after he fired on a military patrol in a West Bank town, the army said Saturday.

The shooting took place late Friday in the town of Anabta. The army said two gunmen fired on the patrol, one using a hunting rifle, and a force nearby fired back, killing one of the assailants. Palestinian security officials confirmed a Palestinian had been killed and said he was hit by dozens of bullets.

Palestinians identified the slain man as Raid Masharka, a 21-year-old member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small, violent PLO faction.

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