Palestinian baby wounded in Israeli raid

RAMALLAH — A three-month-old baby and a 26-year-old man were wounded early Tuesday when an Israeli tank shell hit their house in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

An Israeli army spokesman said artillery had shelled the area targeting rocket launchers.

Three makeshift rockets had been fired from Gaza onto Israeli territory early Tuesday, without causing injuries, the spokesman said.

The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement claimed responsibility for firing the rockets.

Yesterday’s injuries mark the 135th and 136th injuries in the strip in the past two weeks as the massive Israeli military operation to secure the release of a soldier captured by Palestinians on June 25 rumbles on.

In the two weeks since July 27, the UN calculates that Palestinians have fired approximately 71 homemade rockets at Israel, injuring three Israelis including two children.

In the same period, Israel has fired a staggering 1,050 artillery shells at Gaza, and 39 Palestinians, including nine children, have been killed. Twelve of those were killed in their own homes as a result of Israeli air strikes, artillery fire or tank shelling.

In tandem with its military operation in the strip, Israel has also rounded up elected Hamas officials in the West Bank most recently the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Aziz Dweik.

Dweik was yesterday transferred from a military prison near Ramallah, where he is being held without charge, to a hospital in Jerusalem after complaining of dizziness and chest pains on Monday night, the army said.

A diagnosis was not immediately available.

Yesterday, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) urged Israel to release Palestinian lawmakers seized since June.

The organisation, which groups 146 national parliaments, issued a statement saying it was “alarmed” at the arrest and detention of Dweik.

“The IPU calls upon the Israeli authorities to show restraint  and respect for the parliamentary mandate and  the institution of parliament, the presidency of which  was  entrusted  to Mr Dweik following the elections held earlier this year,”   the   statement  said.

“It therefore calls on the Israeli authorities to release him forthwith along with the other members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who were arrested in June,” the group added.

More than 65 members of the Palestinian parliament are held in Israeli jails.

Elsewhere, four Palestinians were wounded and two Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades activists were seized Tuesday during an Israeli incursion in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security sources told AFP.

Some 40 armoured vehicles thrust into the town of Qabatiya to capture the two members of the brigades, an  armed  offshoot of Fateh.

Israeli soldiers responded with gunfire to stone-throwing protesters, wounding four Palestinians, the sources added.

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