Israel kills Palestinian activist near Ramallah


Israeli troops have killed a man they claim is a wanted Hamas activist during a raid on a West
Bank village near Ramallah.

The man was shot and killed when he tried to flee arrest this morning, an Israeli army spokesman claimed. Palestinian witnesses said the man was not armed at the time.

This morning's violence comes a day after Israel killed at least 15 Palestinians and wounded dozens during incursions into the Gaza Strip. Hamas pledged revenge after Israeli troops backed by tanks entered the Shijaia neighbourhood in Gaza yesterday at dawn, opening fire and drawing a response from armed Palestinians.

Medics said 12 Palestinians were killed in the city. Another three were shot dead during an Israeli raid in the southern Gaza refugee camp of Rafah.

Hamas called on its troops to 'respond quickly to hit all the enemy positionsit can reach with huge martyr operations.' Hamas leader Abdel Rantisi was reported as branding Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon a terrorist. "He promised to end the intifada, but he is bringing his people only death, destruction and disasters," Mr Rantisi said.