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5 Israeli Soldiers Wounded in West Bank Raid

The Israeli military says at least five soldiers were wounded during a raid in the West Bank town of Nablus Thursday.

Officials say troops imposed a curfew as they searched the town for wanted Palestinian militants. At least two Palestinians were arrested.

The West Bank raid was launched as Israeli forces wrapped up an operation in the Gaza Strip aimed at stopping Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel. At least 12 Palestinians, mostly militants, were killed.

In other developments, the international Middle East Quartet named Britain's Tony Blair Wednesday as its envoy to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Quartet is made of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

The Quartet said recent events in the Gaza Strip and West Bank make it more urgent than ever to advance the search for peace in the Middle East.

The Islamic militant group Hamas seized control of Gaza in fighting with the rival Palestinian faction Fatah earlier this month.

President Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah welcomed Mr. Blair's appointment.

But Hamas says it does not expect Mr. Blair to be impartial. Hamas spokesmen say he has previously supported American and Israeli positions.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.