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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 15:26 GMT
Militants attack Gaza settlement
Israeli soldiers evacuate a wounded comrade after the attack on Morag
An explosive device went off under an army jeep
An attack on a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip has left one Israeli civilian and two militants dead, and three Israeli soldiers wounded.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack on Morag.

Earlier, Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians near Ramallah in the West Bank, in one of their first raids since Sunday's Palestinian elections.

The army also said it had arrested four militants in Gaza City.

Islamic Jihad says its militants were on a suicide mission when they set off an explosion near the entrance to Morag.

Palestinians living nearby say that they heard a blast and then heavy gunfire.

In the incident near Ramallah, the Israeli army says it killed two Hamas militants after they opened fire when troops entered a house to arrest them.

Election promise

The violence comes just days after Mahmoud Abbas won a landslide election victory to succeed the late Yasser Arafat as Palestinian leader.

He has come to power committed to bringing the armed Palestinian uprising to an end.

Map showing location of Morag in the Gaza Strip
But when Mr Abbas appeals to groups such as Islamic Jihad to lay down their arms, the militants will no doubt demand that Israel halt its military operations in the Palestinian territories that it occupies, says the BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel has announced that it will deploy 5,000 soldiers and police as part of the operation to pull out its settlements from the Gaza Strip, starting this summer.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to pull out all 8,000 Israeli settlers and the troops who protect them from 21 fortified enclaves in Gaza.

The move has met with strong opposition from settlers.

Israel will maintain control of Gaza's borders, coastline and airspace.

Israel has occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank since 1967.




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