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Latest Violence in Mideast Leaves 3 Palestinians Dead - 2003-03-11


Israeli troops on Tuesday killed two Palestinian gunmen who were attempting to infiltrate a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. Elsewhere in Gaza, another Palestinian was killed when Israeli forces demolished a home belonging to a Hamas member.

Israeli officials say the troops opened fire on the two Palestinian gunmen as they attempted to break into the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip. Backpacks filled with explosives were found next to the bodies.

In another incident in Gaza, Palestinians report that the Israeli army killed one Palestinian and injured three others in the course of demolishing the home of a Hamas member.

Israeli forces have intensified operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip since the organization claimed responsibility for blowing up an Israeli tank last month, causing the deaths of four Israeli soldiers.

Meanwhile in the West Bank city of Hebron, the body of a Palestinian gunman was found Tuesday in the wreckage of a building.

On Monday, the gunman had ambushed an Israeli army unit that was patrolling a road connecting Hebron with the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba. One Israeli soldier was killed and five others wounded in the attack.

Immediately after the shooting, the gunman fled into an apartment building in Hebron. On Tuesday, residents of the building were asked to evacuate and soldiers then fired a tank shell at it.

The gunman continued to fire from the damaged building as an armored Israeli bulldozer completely wrecked it. The body of the Palestinian was later found in the rubble.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a militant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, claimed responsibility for the shooting.