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Palestinian villagers watch execution

By Associated Press
Published July 3, 2004

QABATIYA, West Bank - Cheered on by a crowd, Palestinian gunmen Friday killed a man for allegedly collaborating with Israel and allegedly sexually abusing his two young daughters.

Mohammed Rafiq Abdel Razek, 42, was gunned down in a public square in the West Bank village of Qabatiya by militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent group loosely affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

Jamal Abu al Rob, a local al-Aqsa leader, said Abdel Razek had been abducted by the group from a nearby hospital.

During an interrogation, he admitted spying for Israel since 1989 and trying to recruit a Jordanian officer to do the same, Rob said. He also admitted abusing his daughters, now 13 and 16, over many years, Rob said.

Abdel Razek was paraded into a public square early Friday. The militants announced the charges against him and asked the crowd of some 500 people what they should do.

"Kill him immediately!" the crowd chanted.

The militants then riddled his body with automatic gunfire.

"I feel honor for me and my people," Rob said. "People like this belong below the ground, not above it."

In the nearby village of Tubas, Abdel Razek's relatives said the charges against him were true. The family refused to pick up the body at the hospital, a sign of contempt in Palestinian society.

Palestinian officials say Israel's control of the West Bank limits their ability to maintain law and order, and armed militants are given free rein in many areas.

Gaza militants fire rocket at Israelis

JERUSALEM - Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket at the Israeli town of Sderot on Friday, slightly wounding one person, rescue officials said. Israeli media reported several other attacks on the town.

The rocket landed in Natan Elbaz Street, and workers were treating a person for shock, rescue officials said, adding they weren't aware of other injuries.

Earlier this week, a Palestinian rocket in Sderot killed two people, including a 3-year-old boy, the first Israeli fatality from a Palestinian rocket since fighting erupted nearly four years ago.

Israel warns White House of weapons buildup in Iran

WASHINGTON - Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the White House on Friday that Iran was trying to develop longer-range missiles that could pose a threat to European nations.

Shalom took his concerns to Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, and then told reporters: "We cannot allow the Iranians to move forward in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

"The Iranians still continue to do everything they can in order to develop nuclear weapons that might, of course, be used against Israel," Shalom said.

[Last modified July 3, 2004, 01:00:34]

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