Israel kills three Palestinian activists
Two Palestinian fighters infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip early Saturday, attacking an Israeli military position before soldiers tracked them down and killed them, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.
Maj. Tal Lev-Ram, an Israeli army spokesman, said there was "an intention to carry out a large attack in Israeli territory." According to him, the attackers were heavily armed "head to toe" with grenades and automatic weapons, and were headed toward communities in southern Israel when they were stopped.
Lev-Ram said they entered Israel near the Erez border crossing, attacked an army post and continued into Israel. Ground forces were dispatched and killed the infiltrators after a brief chase.
In Gaza Strip, three groups - the Popular Resistance Committees, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - claimed responsibility for the attack. In a joint statement, they said three gunmen participated in the attack. Two were killed after a "long battle," and the fate of the third was unknown, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces disguised as Palestinians killed the local leader of the Islamic Jihad group in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday, Palestinian security sources said. They identified him as Ala Abu Srour and said another Islamic Jihad member was wounded in the raid by the undercover troops.
According to Reuters, an Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said Israeli soldiers and paramilitary border policemen, in a joint operation in Jenin, fired at a vehicle in which three gunmen were travelling.
On Friday, Israeli forces killed a 13-year-old Israeli Arab boy and an Islamic Jihad operative during a raid in the village of Seida, near the West Bank city of Tulkarm, Palestinian ambulance crews said. The boy, from a town in southern Israel, had been visiting relatives in the village, the medics said.
Israeli soldiers crossed into the Gaze Strip on Friday evening and killed two Palestinian activists who had opened fired at them near the border fence, the Israeli army said.
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