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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 15:06 GMT
Israel troops fire on peace rally
The security barrier
Israel's security barrier is proving highly controversial
Israeli soldiers have opened fire on a demonstration in the West Bank, injuring two peace activists.

The incident took place when about 100 protesters demonstrated near the Palestinian village of Mahase against the barrier Israel is constructing.

One Israeli man and one foreign woman were wounded.

The Israeli army said troops opened fire when demonstrators tried to cut through a security fence, but said only one live shot was fired.

One of the demonstrators, Jonathan Faulk, told the Israeli Haaretz newspaper that soldiers opened fire with no warning, adding that the soldiers' lives were never in any danger.

The demonstrators came from peace groups including the International Solidarity Movement.

Israel says it is building the barrier to prevent terrorist attacks. However, the Palestinians say it will cut hundreds of thousands of their people off from their livelihoods.

The United Nations has condemned the barrier as illegal.


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