Six Palestinians die in clashes

Israeli troops kill the six, including three militants, in separate fights.

Published April 22, 2007

NABLUS, West Bank - Israeli troops killed six Palestinians, including a 17-year-old girl, in the bloodiest day of fighting this year across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said Saturday.

The dead included three militants traveling together in a car in the northern West Bank and a man in Gaza killed in an Israeli airstrike in response to a Palestinian rocket attack.

Israeli officials defended the operations as steps in their ongoing war against militants, but Palestinian officials said the bloodshed hurt efforts to expand a cease-fire in Gaza to the West Bank.

The three militants were killed as they traveled in the northern town of Jenin. Palestinian officials said the men were ambushed by undercover troops, while the army said its troops returned fire after the militants shot at them.

Late Saturday night, troops returned to the Jenin refugee camp, sparking a fierce firefight with local militants. Palestinian officials said the 17-year-old girl, identified as Bushra Wahash, was shot as she peered out the window of her home. The army was investigating the report.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian police officer was killed when he climbed on the roof of his home during an Israeli arrest operation in the nearby village of Kafr Dan. The army said troops fired on a man armed with a rifle standing on a roof.