News in Brief

Palestinian youth shot dead by IDF

Military police are launching an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian youth by an IDF force yesterday in a Jordan Valley refugee camp. During a search for an Islamic Jihad activist in the Al-Fari'a refugee camp northeast of Nablus, an explosive device was thrown at the Duvdevan unit, according to the IDF. There were no injuries, but the soldiers noticed two Palestinians escaping the scene. Hamas later confirmed that the youth was a member of the organization.

The soldiers reportedly called to the two to stop. One of the youths continued running, and the soldiers shot him in the legs. Army sources said a military medic treated the man, 22-year-old Ibrahim Sarhan, placed a tourniquet on his leg and transferred him to the care of a Red Crescent team. Sarhan died soon afterward.

A military source told Haaretz that Sarhan's condition was stable when he was handed over to the Red Crescent. The source speculated that Sarhan died following some accident during the medical treatment or a complication not immediately obvious to the paramedics.

The policy of automatically investigating all killings of Palestinian civilians was introduced three months ago. Before the change of policy, investigation would only occur when there were suspicions of misconduct by the soldiers.  (Anshel Pfeffer)

Gaza rockets slam into western Negev

Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Israel twice yesterday, in the early morning and at around noon. They landed in open areas and causing neither damage nor injury. Two rockets fired on Tuesday night caused minor damage to a house. A total of 11 rockets were fired at Israel from the Strip since the beginning of July. The Israel Defense Forces attacked weapons laboratories in the Gaza Strip yesterday morning in retaliation for Tuesday's rocket fire. GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo yesterday blamed Hamas for the rocket attacks. IDF sources said the incidents were believed to be a result of tensions between Hamas and other groups, mainly organizations affiliated with Al-Qaida, and did not represent an escalation of hostilities with Israel. (Anshel Pfeffer )

Three held for making weapons

A father and his two sons were arrested in Nazareth yesterday, after police raided a weapons-manufacturing workshop they allegedly operated. Officers, assisted by special police commandos and dogs, arrested the three and seized a hunting rifle, magazines and ammunition as well as lathes, springs and pipes for manufacturing weapons, a police source said afterward. "One of the suspects apparently learned to manufacture weapons online," he said. One of the suspects confessed to having manufactured two of the guns and said he had bought the hunting rifle in a village in the north. He said the improvised guns had been "tried out" successfully, the source said. The suspects' remand was extended until Sunday. (Eli Ashkenazi )