JERUSALEM -- The Palestinian Authority expressed outrage after an army investigation cleared Israeli soldiers who killed 12 Palestinians in three incidents last week, calling it a cover-up. None of those killed carried firearms.
In the early hours Saturday, Israeli troops moved into the central town of Deir el Balah in the Gaza Strip, arresting six men and destroying two buildings the army said were used for weapon-making.
Palestinian youths in Ramallah broke the curfew Israel imposed on most West Bank towns to keep out militants during the Jewish New Year holiday. Dozens of boys from the al Amari refugee camp threw stones at Israeli army vehicles, and troops responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. No injuries were reported.
On Friday, the military released the results of an investigation into the killings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers over four days last week.
Responding to the findings, Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said it was "shameful for Israel not to bring to justice those who kill innocent children, innocent mothers in cold blood."
The report said that in two cases, Palestinians were moving in a suspicious manner in areas that are off-limits to civilians, and soldiers acted according to regulations when they opened fire.
In the third incident, in which two Palestinian children and two teen-agers were killed in a targeted missile attack on suspected militants, one of the missiles missed the target, apparently because of a technical mishap, the statement said.
The army had investigated the deaths of four Palestinian farmers in Gaza, four laborers in a West Bank quarry and the four youngsters in the missile attack.
Military officials said the quarry workers had been masked, armed with an ax and that there was "a possibility" they were en route to carrying out an attack. The teens killed in the missile attack were accomplices of the wanted militiamen, the military officials said. Palestinians have insisted all 12 were civilians.
Also Friday, Israel imposed curfews on most West Bank towns and froze Palestinian travel to keep out militants during the two-day Rosh Hashana New Year. The restrictions confined more than 630,000 Palestinians to their homes.
The army said the raid in Deir el Balah was in response to Thursday's attack on an Israeli tank by Palestinian militants, in which a soldier was killed and three others wounded.
The army also said it arrested Hisham Sharabaty, a leading Hamas militant, and his brother Mamoun in an overnight operation in Hebron. Palestinians said Sharabaty, long wanted by Israel, had been living at large for years .
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