- TULKARM, West Bank (Reuters)
- Two masked Palestinian gunmen entered an intelligence building in the
West Bank town of Tulkarm on Monday and killed eight men suspected of collaborating
with Israel, security sources and witnesses said.
- The killing was the deadliest attack on suspected collaborators
since the start of a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation 18
- The security sources said Palestinian intelligence officers
guarding the building had left their posts when Israeli tanks moved toward
the town because they believed the army was poised to enter.
- Their departure allowed the two gunmen to enter the building
and shoot the men dead before fleeing, the sources said.
- The eight bodies were dragged out to the road where hundreds
of Palestinians gathered, most of them expressing satisfaction over the
killing and some shouting "God is greatest."
- "This is the fate of anyone who betrays his homeland,"
said Ahmed Suleiman, one of the onlookers.
- But several others said they feared the breakdown of
the rule of law.
- "They were supposed to be brought to court because
there is so far no proof that they were involved in spying," said
one man, who would not give his name.
- Palestinian security sources said the eight men had been
accused, but not convicted, of the charges against them. They were held
in a private building after previous Israeli air strikes had destroyed
the town's prison, the sources said.
- The Palestinian Authority has sentenced to death several
collaborators since the start of the revolt and executed two of the convicted
men early last year.
- Palestinian gunmen have also killed several dozen of
their brethren whom they accused of helping Israeli security forces track
and kill militants fighting in the uprising.
- In February, gunmen posing as police entered a courtroom
in the West Bank town of Jenin and shot dead three men who had been convicted
of killing a security officer.