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Israeli Army Kills Two Hamas Militants - 2001-10-31


A Palestinian militant wanted for killing Jewish settlers has died in an Israeli missile attack. The strike came after Israeli soldiers launched another raid on a Palestinian-ruled village in the West Bank.

An Israeli combat helicopter fired a missile at a house in the West Bank city of Hebron, killing a senior member of the militant group Hamas.

The Israeli military confirmed it carried out the operation. An Israeli army statement says Jamil Jadallah was responsible for killing Jewish settlers and planning suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians. The statement says Mr. Jadallah was involved in planning an attack last June at a Tel Aviv disco that killed more than 20 people.

Israel's policy of targeted attacks, called "assassinations" by the Palestinians, has been condemned by the United States and other countries.

Earlier, Israeli soldiers, backed by tanks and helicopters, entered the Palestinian-ruled village of Arrabe near the West Bank City of Jenin. The army says it arrested six people, including two members of the militant Islamic Jihad group. The military says the Palestinians were planning a suicide attack at a target inside Israel.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a shooting Sunday in the coastal city of Hadera in which four Israeli women were killed.

After making the arrests, the soldiers pulled out of Arrabe, but the Israeli army continues to maintain a tight grip on other Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank.

In Tulkarem, one of the Palestinian towns where Israeli troops are deployed, soldiers shot and killed Abdullah Jaroshi, a member of Hamas.

In a separate incident, two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Nablus. Israeli media report the men had opened fire at an Israeli vehicle shortly before they were killed.

The United States has called for Israel to immediately pull back from Palestinian-ruled territory it seized after an Israeli cabinet minister was assassinated earlier this month.

Israel pulled out of the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jala earlier this week, but is demanding the Palestinians arrest militants and observe a ceasefire before withdrawing from other areas.

More than 700 Palestinians and nearly 200 Israelis have died since the violence erupted 13 months ago.

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