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The BBC's Jon Leyne in Jerusalem
"Even as the funerals went on the killing began again"
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Palestinian analyst Gahassan Khatib
"The Palestinians are reacting to the Israeli ongoing escalation"
 real 56k

Yossi Beilin, Israeli Justice Minister
"There is an urgent need to put an end to this nightmare"
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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 22:52 GMT 23:52 UK
Israel launches helicopter attacks
Palestinian security man in one of the bombed buildings
The helicopter attacks devastated their targets
Israeli helicopter gunships have carried out two separate rocket attacks against buildings belonging to the Palestinian security forces.

At least 10 people are reported to have been injured.


The army will continue to fight Palestinian terror and will do everything in its power to protect Israeli citizens and soldiers

Army spokesman
The first attack was on a security site at one of the largest refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, the Jabaliya camp. The Israeli army said this strike followed numerous attacks and shootings planned and launched from the area.

In the second attack, the Israelis fired rockets at a Palestinian security forces building in the West Bank town of Jenin. Israeli officials said the building was being used to make weapons and mortar bombs.


Suddenly we saw red flames and fire hit the building

Hassan Khalil, Palestinian guard
The attacks came at the end of another day of turmoil in the Middle East, during which Israel launched a series of incursions into Palestinian territory.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent Jon Leyne says these are the latest in a series of helicopter gunship attacks by the Israelis, but on previous occasions the Israeli army has cited specific acts as provocation.

Mistake

Wednesday's raids coincided with emotional funerals for three of the four Palestinians killed on Tuesday during mass confrontations marking Palestinian protests at the creation of the Israeli state.


It was not the aim and the purpose of our security forces to hit them personally

Israeli Minister of Internal Security Uzi Landau
Israeli Minister of Internal Security Uzi Landau has meanwhile said that soldiers made a mistake when they shot dead five Palestinian policemen on Monday, but the Palestinians have still not received the apology they are demanding.

He said the policemen had been in a position from which Israeli soldiers and civilians had been targeted for many months.

"It was not the aim and the purpose of our security forces to hit them personally," Mr Landau said.

Yasser Arafat
Arafat wants another international summit
"We were looking for others that were directly responsible for the shooting, they happened to replace them. This is the mistake that we made."

In Cairo, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has called for an international summit to discuss the findings of a US-led panel which has called for a freeze on Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

He called the killings of the policemen a "dirty assassination".

Five raids

Israeli troops, tanks and bulldozers are reported to have carried out up to five raids into Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

In one, a Palestinian security official told the AFP news agency that troops had taken over the Palestinian Authority's main dairy plant.

Palestinian boys battle with Israeli soldiers guarding an airport strip north of Jerusalem
The killing of the policemen contributed to Tuesday's violence
The plant is close to a Jewish settlement that Israel said had been hit by a Palestinian mortar shell.

Israeli troops also spent four hours searching homes in the southern Gaza Strip, but withdrew empty-handed, the Palestinian official said.

Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, medical officials said Israeli troops had shot dead a 14-year-old Palestinian, Mohammad Selim, who was throwing stones at them.

In the West Bank, several hundred young men attending the funeral of one of the Palestinian policemen killed on Monday marched towards an Israeli military post.

A BBC correspondent at the scene says that protests have become so routine that traffic continued to flow in between the protesters, who were throwing stones, and the troops firing tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

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See also:

15 May 01 | Middle East
Bloodshed on Israel anniversary
15 May 01 | Media reports
Palestinian leader's speech: Excerpts
14 May 01 | Middle East
Palestinian fury over killings
14 May 01 | Middle East
Israel strikes against Palestinians
13 May 01 | Middle East
Palestinians seek US support
11 May 01 | Middle East
Mid East violence escalates
14 May 01 | Middle East
Analysis: The Mitchell report
15 May 01 | Middle East
Flashback: Palestine's catastrophe
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