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Last Updated:  Thursday, 10 April, 2003, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
One dead in Gaza strike
A Palestinian militant has been killed by a missile strike from an Israeli helicopter in the Gaza Strip.

An official of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said the target was Mohammed al-Zatma, 30, a local military leader of the group.

The Israeli army has not commented on the incident.

The strike took place hours after Palestinian militants infiltrated an Israeli military base in the West Bank and killed two soldiers.

Israeli soldiers and policemen examine the body of one of two Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated into an Israeli military training base
One gunman was killed after a chase
The gunmen were themselves killed - one on the scene and one after a chase.

The Reuters news agency said an anonymous caller claimed that the attack had been carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a splinter group of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

The incident - which lasted between 30 and 40 minutes - occurred in the Jordan Valley, near the Bekaot settlement.

Sergeant Yigal Lifshitz, 20, was one of the two Israeli dead. The army said he would be buried on Thursday night. The other dead man has not been named.

Another nine Israelis were reported injured.

Residents of nearby settlements were told to stay indoors until about three hours after the attack began.

Second strike

The missile strike in the Gaza Strip was the second such attack this week.

A strike on Tuesday killed Saed Arabeed, 38, allegedly a senior figure in armed wing of Hamas.

Two other alleged Hamas militants and two civilians, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed when an Israeli F-16 warplane fired two missiles at the car Arabeed was travelling in.

Israel regularly carries out what it calls targeted attacks on alleged Palestinian militants. It says the strikes are self-defence.

Palestinians say it is a method of state-sponsored assassination.

Violence in the 30-month-old uprising in the Palestinian territories has been on the increase, including Israeli military strikes and raids in the Gaza Strip.

More than a dozen Palestinians have been killed in the past two days.




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