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4 Killed in Israeli-Palestinian Violence - 2003-04-10


Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli military base in the northern West Bank Thursday killing two soldiers. Eight others were reported wounded in the attack. The troops fired back, killing two Palestinian assailants.

Israeli authorities said the attack took place near the Jewish settlement of Bekaot, in the Jordan Valley, when Palestinian gunmen broke through a fence surrounding the base and opened fire.

One of the attackers was killed during the assault, when Israeli troops returned fire. A second was killed by soldiers during searches of the surrounding area.

Israeli forces said they were still hunting for a third attacker believed to be at large.

Palestinian militants have repeatedly targeted Jewish settlements and Israeli army bases in the West Bank, during the past 30 months of fighting.

An attempt to infiltrate the same base, several months ago, failed when the troops killed the lone Palestinian gunman.

Two Palestinian factions have claimed responsibility for the attack on an Israeli army base in the Jordan Valley.

The radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade say they were both behind the assault.

The Martyrs' Brigade is a military wing of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.

The groups told news agencies that the attack was in revenge for two days of clashes in the Gaza Strip this week with Israeli forces that have killed 12 Palestinians, one of them a commander for the militant Islamic group Hamas.

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