Friday, December 28, 2007

Ahmed Qurei's bodyguard killed by IDF

IDF troops killed one of former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei's bodyguards, the military said Friday morning. On Thursday, Qurei, known also as Abu Ala, head of the Palestinian negotiation team, participated in talks held in Jerusalem in which Prime Minister Olmert and PA President Mahmoud Abbas met for their first meeting since last month's Annapolis conference.

Palestinian sources reported that IDF troops operating south of Ramallah in the town of Bituniya shot and killed Muatassem a-Shariff, a Fatah operative and a Presidential Guard member. Eye witnesses said a-Shariff was shot while after opening fire while trying to escape IDF troops who came to his house in order to arrest him.

The military said this was not the first instance that officials in the Palestinian Authority security forces were involved in terrorist activity.

Several weeks ago, just prior to the Annapolis conference, Ido Zoldan was killed by terrorists later revealed to be Palestinian policemen from a force sanctioned by Israel.

According to the IDF, Shariff was involved in weapons smuggling, including selling weapons to Fatah's Tanzim, whose leader Marwan Barghouti is jailed in Israel.

A Palestinian official strongly condemned the killing, saying Israel "proved once again that it does not want stability in the West Bank."

The incident was the first case in several months of a Fatah operative being killed by IDF troops. .

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