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Palestinians Open Fire at Israelis

December 2, 2001

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JERUSALEM (AP) _ Armed Palestinians infiltrated a shooting range in the Gaza Strip early Sunday and killed an Israeli civilian, the Israeli military said.

The Palestinians took up positions at the shooting range, firing at soldiers, according to the military. The attack took place near two Israeli settlements in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. It was not immediately clear whether the shooting range was a civilian or military facility.

Israel Radio reported that five people were wounded when gunfire hit Israeli vehicles. A spokesman for rescue services said heavy exchanges of fire were preventing ambulances from entering the area.

The attack came nine hours after suicide bombers blew themselves up in downtown Jerusalem, killing 10 people and themselves and wounding more than 150.

Avi Farhan, an Israeli settler in northern Sinai, said he heard gunshots aimed at a car before the Palestinians entered the firing range.

He complained that fences around the settlements are inadequate. Several weeks ago, armed Palestinians entered one of the settlements and killed two Israelis before they were shot dead.

On Thursday, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in northern Israel, killing himself and three Israelis, just as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was about to leave for the United States. Sharon denounced that attack, but decided to go ahead with the trip.

After the attack in Jerusalem, Sharon decided to cut short his trip, bringing forward his meeting with President Bush to later Sunday before returning to Israel.

Israel’s security Cabinet was convening in an emergency session to discuss the attacks.

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