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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Israeli moderately hurt in W. Bank shooting attack

Last update - 20:03 24/12/2006   

Israeli moderately hurt in W. Bank shooting attack
By Mijal Greenberg and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents

An Israeli man was wounded Sunday in a shooting attack northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The man apparently came under Palestinian fire while he was driving on the route that connects the settlements of Oferim and Neveh Tzuf, near the Palestinian village of Dir Abu Meshal.
Also Sunday evening, a Qassam rocket hit the western Negev town of Sderot, bringing to four the number of rockets fired at Israel on Sunday.
According to initial reports, he was wounded in his leg and his condition is listed as moderate.
An Israel Defense Forces medical team was called to the scene, and began treating the injured man.
The attackers fled the scene, and apparently headed southward. IDF troops are currently searching the area in an attempt to capture the attackers, and the road on which the attack occurred is currently closed to traffic.
Defense establishment sources said Saturday they believe Palestinian extremists will try to carry out terrorist attacks in order to bring about an escalation of violence in the wake of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' meeting Saturday night.
Four Qassam rockets fired at Israel from Gaza on Sunday
After a day without rocket strikes, Palestinians fired four Qassam rockets at the western Negev on Sunday, hours after a meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
One rocket hit Sderot on Sunday evening. There were no initial reports of damage or injuries.
A rocket hit a field between Sderot a local kibbutz earlier in the day, and a second struck in an open field. No injuries or damage were reported in either strike.
The IDF identified a fourth rocket being launched from the Gaza Strip, although it could not be immediately determined where it hit.
Almost 50 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since a cease-fire agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinians some four weeks ago.
The Israel Defense Forces refrained from responding to the attacks in accordance with the instructions of the government echelon to continue a policy of restraint in the face of the continuing Qassam fire.
Security sources report that Defense Minister Amir Peretz and the top military tier all support a move to ease some of the limitations imposed on the IDF by the cease-fire with the Palestinians.
Peretz suggested to the prime minister that he allow the IDF to fire only at identified Qassam rocket launching cells, despite the cease-fire. Olmert rejected the recommendation, in light of the progress that he has been making in talks with Abbas.
The Prime Minister's office issued a statement saying that Olmert had expressed his concern over the continued Qassam fire to Abbas at their meeting Saturday. According to the statement, Olmert told Abbas that Israel would be forced to abandon the restraint policy if the Palestinians continue to violate the cease-fire.
On Friday, four Qassam rockets landed in the western Negev. One person sustained light wounds and some property was damaged. It appears that the Islamic Jihad is responsible for the attacks.
One rocket was fired early Friday morning, and three additional rockets that evening. One rocket struck a bank in the center of Sderot, causing damage, and another landed in a residential area of a kibbutz, shattering several windows. The third landed in an open field.

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