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Saturday, July 03, 2004 - Page updated at 12:17 A.M.
Palestinian militants execute alleged collaborator
By Seattle Times news services
QABATIYA, West Bank Cheered on by a crowd, Palestinian gunmen yesterday executed a man for allegedly collaborating with Israel and allegedly sexually abusing his two young daughters.
Mohammed Rafiq Abdel Razek, 42, was gunned down in a public square in the West Bank village of Qabatiya by militants from the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent group loosely affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.
Militants had hustled Abel Razek into its main square before several hundred townsfolk and asked him: "Are you a collaborator with the Israeli intelligence?" He said: "Yes."
He was also asked if he had sexually molested his two daughters, now 13 and 16, as reported by relatives who said they had disowned him. Abel Razek answered, "Yes."
A gunman turned to the crowd pressing around and asked: "What should his sentence be?"
"Execution!" roared the throng. "Kill him, kill him!" they chanted.
Witnessed by a Reuters news team, the militants pushed the cowering Abel Razek to the ground, riddled him with automatic fire, got into a car and sped off.
The all-male crowd lingered over the body until an ambulance arrived to remove it.
Some spectators looked dazed but many expressed satisfaction, saying, "He deserved it."
Jamal Abu al Rob, a local Al Aqsa leader, said Abdel Razek had been abducted by the group from a nearby hospital, where he was being treated for injuries when a relative stabbed him over the alleged abuse.
In the nearby village of Tubas, Abdel Razek's relatives said the charges against him were true.
The family refused to pick up the body at the hospital, a sign of contempt in Palestinian society.
Israeli intelligence makes frequent use of Palestinian informants to target wanted Palestinians.
Militant groups have killed at least 30 compatriots accused of being informers for Israeli forces fighting an almost four-year revolt in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
In related developments:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is prepared to move a West Bank security barrier closer to Israel wherever possible to avoid trapping Palestinians in fenced-in enclaves, Israeli officials said yesterday.
The Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the government to reroute the most of the barrier in the Jerusalem area, saying it would cause too much hardship for thousands of Palestinians.
Palestinian sources said Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip yesterday, one because he entered a closed area, another shot in the back during a military sweep and a third hit while standing at his window watching an Israeli military operation.
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