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Missile Barrage Kills a Top Member of Hamas

July 26, 2001|From Times Wire Services

JERUSALEM — Firing missiles from a hilltop army base, Israeli forces killed a prominent member of the militant Islamic group Hamas on Wednesday as he drove on a West Bank road.

The shooting of Salah Darwaza perpetuated the circular argument between the Mideast antagonists: Israel said it had targeted Darwaza because he was a "senior terrorist," while Palestinians said Israeli "assassinations" only inflame their uprising.

The missile attack by troops stationed on a hill overlooking the city of Nablus killed Darwaza instantly and turned his vehicle into a mangled pile of metal.

Hundreds of Palestinians soon encircled the car and began an angry, impromptu demonstration, shouting, "Revenge, revenge!"

Israel said Darwaza was involved in recent bombings that killed eight Israelis and was planning another. Hamas threatened retaliation.

Later, Israelis and Palestinians held a security meeting in Tel Aviv. There, Palestinians gave the U.S. representative a list of 50 suspected Israeli militants that they want arrested, Palestinian intelligence chief Amin Hindi said.

Israel did not receive the list, a Defense Ministry spokesman said, because talks were stopped after the sides traded complaints. He said the meeting was "not good."

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