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Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 09:58 GMT
Israelis die in attack on settlement
Soldier evacuates Israeli girl wounded in Hermesh
The second attack on a settlement in three days
Two Israeli girls and a woman have been killed in a gun attack on a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

A Palestinian opened fire after infiltrating the Hermesh settlement, near the city of Jenin.

Israeli radio said the gunman was shot dead by guards and Israeli soldiers.

Israeli soldiers in Jenin
Israeli forces are hunting militants in the West Bank
Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky told the BBC that the killings emphasised the need for Israeli politicians to settle their current differences in the Knesset (Israeli parliament).

"Practically every day we have attacks of terror. We have to be united," he said.

"I believe that those who are playing small politics because of their own party interests will pay a very big price in the elections."

The Palestinian gunman, armed with an automatic weapon, crept into the settlement and opened fire on two girls who were sitting outside their house, Israeli security sources told French news agency AFP.

Both girls - one aged 14 - died of their wounds.

A woman who heard the shooting came out of her house and shot at the gunman with a pistol.

He ran away and entered another house where he opened fire at a couple, killing the woman and wounding her husband.

The gunman was then shot dead by settlement guards and soldiers who arrived on the scene, the sources said.

The Israeli daily Ha'aretz said that three people had been wounded in the attack.

The attack was the second on a West Bank settlement in three days.

On Sunday three soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber at the large settlement of Ariel.

Town raided

Israel has continued its operations to hunt down Palestinian militants in the West Bank.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces raided the West Bank town of Tubas and shot dead a suspected militant.

Witnesses and Palestinian security sources named the dead man as Assem Sawafta, 19, a member of the Hamas military wing.

In Jenin, which Israeli troops reoccupied on Friday, reports said troops blew up the house of another member of Hamas on Tuesday.

Israeli military sources say the latest deaths bring the number of people killed in the two-year intifada - Palestinian uprising - to 2,629, including 1,943 Palestinians and 637 Israelis, with the balance made up of foreigners, AFP reported on Wednesday.


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30 Oct 02 | Middle East
29 Oct 02 | Middle East
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