Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

January 8, 2014

Palestinian official: Blast kills Gaza militant

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A Palestinian militant was killed in an explosion in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a health official said, prompting an Islamic group to threaten attacks against Israel.

The circumstances of the death were not immediately clear. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said the man was killed in an Israeli attack. The Israeli military said it was not aware of any incident and denied responsibility.

Al-Kidra said Mohammed al-Ejlla, 33, was killed near the border with Israel. He said two teenagers were slightly wounded in the incident.

The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed that al-Ejlla was one of its fighters in a text message. It said he was killed by an Israeli tank shell while on “a mission.” It did not elaborate but threatened to respond to the incident.

Flare-ups along the border have been rare since Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers fought an eight-day battle in 2012, but violent incidents occur occasionally.

Also Wednesday, Israeli police said vandals damaged two cars and scrawled graffiti onto a building in a Palestinian village in the West Bank. The vandalism comes a day after Palestinians briefly captured more than a dozen Israeli settlers who had attacked Palestinian farmers, according to witnesses.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the vandals wrote the words “price tag” and “Esh Kodesh” on a building. The settlers from Tuesday’s incident came from the rogue Esh Kodesh settlement. Rosenfeld said police were looking into links between the two incidents.

In recent years, militant settlers have often responded to attempts by the Israeli military to remove parts of rogue settlements, or outposts, by attacking Palestinians and their property. The tactic is known as “price tag.”

Vandals have also targeted mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases with “price tag” graffiti.

 

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