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Israeli, Palestinian killed in shootings

2005-06-20 08:49:00

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Israeli, Palestinian killed in shootings
Monday 20 June 2005 6:13 AM GMT

The attack was near Baka al-Sharqiya, 10km north of Tulkarim

An Israeli civilian and a Palestinian teenager have been shot dead in the Palestinian territories, the Israeli army and medical sources on both sides say.

In the northern West Bank, an Israeli man was killed and a teenager injured when Palestinian fighters ambushed their car, the army and medics said.

"Palestinian gunmen carried out a shooting attack against a civilian vehicle southwest of Jenin, killing one Israeli civilian and wounding another," an Israeli military source said on Monday.

He said the armed men had apparently opened fire from a vehicle as the Israeli car was near Baka al-Sharqiya, 10km north of Tulkarim in the northern West Bank, before fleeing.

Medical sources said the second Israeli was lightly injured, suffering from shrapnel wounds.

Army radio said a 30-year-old man was killed and a 13-year-old boy wounded.


Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was in retaliation for the alleged desecration of the Quran at a prison in Israel and Israel's continued pursuit of the group's members.

Islamic Jihad claimed
responsibility for the attack
Khadr Adnan, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in the West Bank, said the attack did not signal the end of the group's ceasefire with Israel. "We are still committed to calm," he said.

Israeli occupation forces deployed reinforcements in the area and launched a search operation, Aljazeera's correspondent in the Palestinian territories Ali al-Sumodi reported.

Israeli occupation forces imposed a curfew on Baka, following the operation, al-Sumodi said.

Medical sources said the second Israeli was lightly wounded, suffering from shrapnel wounds.

Teenager killed

Several hours later, Israeli troops shot dead an unarmed Palestinian teenager in northern Gaza near the border fence with Israel, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.

Ihab al-Nabahin, 17, was killed near Wadi Gaza village, southwest of Gaza City, while a second teenager who was with him also sustained gunshot wounds. It was not immediately clear how badly he was injured.

Abbas wants the withdrawal from
Gaza to go peacefully
Witnesses said the two were apparently trying to cross the fence to search for work in Israel.

An Israeli military source confirmed troops had opened fire at two Palestinians spotted in an off-limits area.

"There were two Palestinians in a forbidden closed area. The soldiers warned them to stop several times ... So they were shot in the legs and they managed to run away," the source said.

Palestinian fire

Earlier on Monday, Palestinians fired three mortar shells that hit two Jewish settlements in Gaza.

No injuries were reported.

Israel is afraid that fighters, wanting to claim they have driven Israel out of Gaza, will step up attacks during the mid-August pullout.

It has threatened harsh retaliation if settlers or troops are attacked.

Woman arrested

Israeli soldiers apprehended a Palestinian woman on Monday as she tried to enter Israel through Gaza's Erez border crossing with explosives packed into an undergarment, the army said.

The woman, a burn victim, had permission to travel to the southern Israeli city of Beersheba for medical treatment, a day before a planned summit in Jerusalem between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"She was a suicide bomber, a young, scarred woman ... who had undergone treatment in (Israel) in the past," Colonel Avy Levy, head of Israel's northern Gaza brigade, told Israel Radio.

"Terrorist groups wanted to take advantage of her condition and use her to carry out an attack in Israel," he said. "She thought because she was ill, we wouldn't check her."

A Palestinian woman was
detained at the Erez crossing
Under her clothing, the woman wore "knee-high pants rigged with approximately 10 kilos (22 lb) of explosives", the army said in a statement.

Israeli media reports said the woman had been ordered by al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to blow herself up in Soroka hospital in the southern city of Beersheba.

The army could not confirm the reported target. The brigades, part of the mainstream Fatah faction, declined to comment.

Preserving calm

Speaking to Israel TV on Sunday night, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was committed to preserving the calm during the withdrawal.

"We will do all that we can to ensure that the disengagement is carried out quietly," he said.

He said the Palestinians had already thwarted "dozens" of attacks with Israeli cooperation. But he said his forces "can't control everything" because of limited resources.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed the Gaza pullout early last year as a unilateral act meant to improve security.

Since reaching a ceasefire deal with Abbas in February, Sharon has said he would be willing to coordinate the pullout with the Palestinians.

Coordination is expected to figure prominently on Tuesday in the first meeting between the two leaders since they declared the February truce.

Aljazeera + Agencies

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