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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Gaza militant group 'halts' raids
A house damaged by Palestinian rocket attacks in Beit Hanoun, Gaza
Palestinian militant rocket attacks have missed their targets
The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has announced it will suspend rocket attacks on Israelis during the withdrawal from the Gaza strip.

The group said it wanted Israel's pullout from Gaza to take place in conditions of calm.

The decision came after a young Palestinian boy was killed on Tuesday in a rocket attack on an Israeli town that missed its target.

Islamic Jihad denied responsibility for that attack.

"The leadership of the al-Quds Brigades issued orders three days ago to all groups to stop firing rockets in order to preserve the national Palestinian project at this critical and historic juncture," said Islamic Jihad in a statement.

In February, Islamic Jihad and fellow militants Hamas agreed to halt attacks on Israel in a deal brokered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

But that agreement had recently broken down with the Palestinians and Israel blaming each other for the resumption of violence in Gaza.

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings carried out in Israel during the truce.

Children injured

Tuesday's rocket attack was aimed at Israelis opposed to the Gaza pullout plan gathering for a demonstration in the Israeli town of Sderot.

Instead, the missiles landed on a Palestinian house in Beit Hanoun, killing a six-year-old boy and injuring at least eight others.

The children of a former Palestinian cabinet minister were among those injured.

The Israeli government plans the withdrawal of more than 8,000 settlers and the soldiers that protect them from Gaza. Israel is also planning to withdraw from four small settlements in the West Bank.

Israel has occupied the West Bank and Gaza since 1967.

Israel and the Palestinians



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