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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Israeli Forces Sweep Across Nablus

    In attempting to hunt for Palestinian militants, a large Israeli Army forceswept into the Old City of Nablus. This may be the start of military retaliationfor the bombing of a cafeteria at Hebrew University in Jerusalem that killedseven people and wounded more than 80.

    Residents reported that the force included more than 100 tanks and armoredvehicles and infantry personal. There were also unconfirmed reports of two Palestinainskilled in Nablus and a third, a member of Hamas, killed in the neighboring villageof Salem.

    The army had no immediate comment on the operation. Israel Radio, however,stated that infantry and armored forces were raiding the Old city to carry outsearches and make arrests, and reported that there have been exchanges of gunfire.

    Israeli security officials, who were quoted on Israel Radio, said that Nablushas served as an operational center for Hamas, the militant Muslim group thattook responsibility for the bombing at the University. Press reports said thatIsraeli officials believe that Hamas militants based in Nablus were responsiblefor the attack.

    Two homes were blown up in Nablus. One of the homes was owned by the familyof a suicide bomber that killed 7 people in Jerusalem. In addition to invadingNablus, four homes in three West Bank towns were demolished because they belongedto the relatives of suicide attackers.

    Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, condemned the demolitions as a crimeagainst humanity and called for the United Nations to send observers into thearea.

    The demolition of homes belonging to the relatives of suicide bombers representsa decision by the Israeli Security Cabinet to take action against relativesof militants who order or carry out attacks against Israel.

    Hamas claimed that the bombing at the University was done in revenge for theassassination of Sheik Salah Shehada, a Hamas military commander. While expressingregret for the deaths of Americans in the bombing, leaders of Hamas considerthe attack as a success and predict a continuation of the endless cycle of Israeli-Palestinianviolence.

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