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Israeli forces kill one Palestinian every three hours

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"The Israelis have now killed 16 Palestinians in the last 48 hours - an average of one Palestinian every three hours - with no serious objections coming from the international community" said Palestinian human rights activist Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, speaking from Ramallah today. "This silence in the face of such whole-scale slaughter is simply unconscionable."
Yesterday Israeli forces launched a deadly raid on Gaza - killing 12 Palestinians and injuring 65 (five of whom are in intensive care) - just two days before the Israeli election. The incursion was the deepest in years, with Israeli troops nearly reaching Palestine Square, in the center of Gaza City.

More than 100 buildings were demolished by the Israelis when they invaded using about 50 tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters.

Soon after the attack on Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that Israel was considering a complete reoccupation of Gaza.

Hours later, in Rafah. a seven-year-old Palestinian boy, Ali Talab Aziz, was murdered by an Israeli soldier who opened fire at him from a tank; his five-year-old bother Ala was wounded in the attack. According to eyewitnesses, Ali and his bother were playing in front of their house when Israeli tanks suddenly started firing randomly at civilians in the neighborhood. The eyewitnesses said that the soldiers appeared to be aiming to kill.

The Israeli military also yesterday ordered the closure of all Palestinian cities in advance of the Israeli election - preventing 3.6 million Palestinians from moving freely between towns and cities in the West Bank. "We demand that the international community take immediate action to stop this Israeli murder of Palestinian civilians and put an end to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's efforts to destroy any chances for a ceasefire and eventual peace." said Barghouthi. "Sharon's actions clearly indicate that he believes that he can act with impunity - we urge the international community to inform him that this is not the case - and that he must abide by international law like any other world leader."

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