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Palestinian Gunmen Kill 4 Israelis in Gaza Strip

Palestinian gunmen shot and killed at least four Israelis and wounded several others Sunday in the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops returned fire killing the three Palestinian attackers.

Three Palestinian gunmen, disguised as Israeli soldiers, infiltrated the Israeli army outpost at Erez in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army base is situated alongside the industrial zone in Erez and the Palestinian attackers penetrated the area under cover of early morning fog.

The Palestinian gunmen then opened fire on troops and civilians.

It was the first such attack since President George W. Bush met Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan.

Mr. Abbas called at the meeting for an end to the Palestinian armed uprising against Israel.

In what appeared to be a challenge to his leadership, three militant Palestinian groups Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades issued a joint statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

On Friday, Hamas called off talks with Mr. Abbas on a suspension of violent attacks against Israelis.

Hamas expressed anger over Mr. Abbas' speech at the end of the summit in Jordan. The organization claimed he had made what they regarded as unacceptable concessions to Israel and demanded a retraction of his statements.

Hamas officials met Saturday with the Islamic Jihad, another organization that frequently carries out suicide bombings and other terror attacks.

The two groups said they would continue discussions over what future contacts they might have with the Palestinian Authority.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the third group to claim responsibility for Sunday's shootings in Gaza, is the armed wing of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.