Palestinian gunmen Thursday killed an Israeli soldier and wounded another in what appeared to be a revenge attack for an Israeli strike against a Palestinian militia leader in the northern West Bank.
Israeli helicopters had fired missiles at a car carrying a Palestinian militia leader, Raed Karmi. Two passengers in his car were killed but he escaped with only light injuries.
Then a few hours later, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed an Israeli soldier inside Israel, but only a few kilometers from the earlier attack near the Palestinian village of Tulkarem. A female soldier with him was wounded.
Mr. Karmi had gone into hiding after escaping the attack on his life, but in a phone interview with an international news agency, he warned of a revenge killing. Mr. Karmi's militia group, known as the Al Aksa Brigades, has claimed responsibility for the shooting attack on the Israeli soldiers.
Mr. Karmi also told the news agency he had killed two Israeli restaurant owners last December when they went to Tulkarem to buy items for their Tel Aviv restaurant. Israel also blames him for four other killings.
The Palestinian militia leader said he killed the two Israeli restaurant owners in retaliation after Israel's army shot dead the head of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction in Tulkarem.
Israel has killed more than 50 Palestinians since implementing a policy of "targeted killings" of suspected terrorists, including more than a dozen who were not the intended target.
The killings on Thursday come only a few days after five bombs exploded in Jerusalem, including a suicide bomber disguised as an Orthodox Jew.
Israel now is considering a military buffer zone along the Green Line that delineates Israel from the territory it seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Israel sees it as another element of its campaign against terrorism. Palestinians call the plan another form of collective punishment.