Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE WORLD

Hamas Activist Killed; Arafat Vows Suicide Before Expulsion

September 18, 2003|From Reuters

GAZA CITY — Israeli forces killed a Hamas militant during a firefight in the Gaza Strip early today, hours after Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat said that he would kill himself if Israel tried to expel or assassinate him.

Israeli helicopter gunships killed Jihad Abu Swerah, 34, a senior Hamas activist, during an operation to arrest him at his home in central Gaza. The raid was part of a series of measures to clamp down on militants who Israel believes have been behind the killing of 38 people in suicide bombings in the Jewish state over the last month, derailing a U.S.-backed peace plan.

From his partly demolished West Bank headquarters, Arafat pointed to his machine gun lying on the floor and said he would use it to kill himself if Israel tried to deport or assassinate him.

"Is there anyone in Palestine who does not dream of martyrdom?" Arafat said. Suicide bombers are also known as martyrs among Palestinians.

Israel vowed to "remove" Arafat after 15 people were killed in back-to-back suicide bombings last week.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|