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Palestinian Police Arrest Militant

November 15, 2001|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Palestinian police arrested a top Islamic Jihad activist in the West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday, setting off a violent protest against Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's security force.

Islamic Jihad leaders said the police pulled Mahmoud Tawalbi off a Jenin street and jailed him in Nablus, 15 miles to the south. Israel suspects that Tawalbi, 23, recruited suicide bombers and sent them into the Jewish state.

About 3,000 Palestinians protesting the arrest surrounded Palestinian Preventive Security headquarters in Jenin, firing guns, throwing grenades and burning cars.

Early today, Israeli tanks moved into the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, witnesses said, after Palestinians fired mortar shells at Jewish settlements and exchanged gunfire with Israeli forces.

Hospital officials said 13 Palestinians were wounded by bullets and tank shells, one critically.

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