Palestinians killed by Israeli tanks

 Christians sources in the Holy Land report that at least eight Palestinians were killed and 40 others injured yesterday afternoon when Israeli tanks fired on a school and houses in Rafa refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. According to Dr Ali Mousa, head of Mohammad Yousef An-Najjar hospital in Rafah, the dead include a 72 year-old man, a nine year old girl and a baby. An Israeli army spokesman said the army had been shot at by Palestinian militants with anti-tank weapons. Captain Sharon Feingold told the BBC: "This is another case of Palestinian terrorists using the civilian population to hide behind and conduct terrorist activity." The Palestinian leadership described the incldent as "a new massacre" and called for the international community to intervene and send observers. Elsewhere an international team of volunteer observers had difficulty trying to reach an area where armed settlers were reported to be attacking Palestinian farmers trying to harvest their olives. The group, which includes Michel Buhler, a popular Swiss singer, and four Italian international monitors were detained on Tuesday as they attempted to reach Al-Jania village, near Ramallah. When the team arrived at an Israeli checkpoint en route to Al-Jania, they were asked to show identification, which was confiscated. Four hours until all IDs were returned, but they were told soldiers would soon be digging up the road to Al-Jania, and forced to return to Ramallah. Olive farmers have consistently complained of attacks from settlers lately. These range from the theft of the harvests, burning and chopping down of trees, to violent physical attacks including shootings. The Mezeraa area has been particularly hard-hit, with vast areas of trees burned down by Israeli settlers. Most complaints have been ignored by Israeli police, or they have released suspects without a proper investigation. source: Amos Trust/BBC

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