Israelis launch missile attack in Gaza
GAZA (CNN) -- Israeli helicopters launched a missile attack on Palestinian targets in Gaza, hours after six Palestinians were killed and another injured in an West Bank explosion.
The Israel Defense Force confirmed Monday's missile attack, saying a pair of helicopters hit an installation used to produce mortar bombs and other weapons.
Palestinian security officials said four missiles hit the headquarters of the Blue Police, the civilian police force, not far from the compound of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.
The Palestinian leader was not at the compound.
The attack followed the deaths of the Palestinian militants in an explosion that blew the roof off a metal shack in Fara, a village south of Jenin. Precise circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear.
Palestinian officials blamed the deaths on Israel, saying at least three of the dead were on Israel's most-wanted list of militants suspected in attacks.
"The Israeli government continues its policy of assassination," Palestinian Cabinet Secretary Ahmed Abdel Rahman said, according to The Associated Press. "This policy will destroy any hope for peace. Resistance will continue."
Fatah has issued a statement that there will be a "swift and painful response," said CNN Correspondent Jerrold Kessell.
Israeli officials denied Israel was involved and said the Palestinians may have been killed by their own bomb.
"According to the information I have, it was a work accident. It's not the first time the Palestinians claim we killed a squad," Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin-Pelossof told Army Radio, as reported by Reuters.
"Attackers who are trying to activate explosive devices ... recently they have been making many mistakes ... and they pay with their lives for it," Rabin-Pelossof said.
Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also said Israel had nothing to do with the blast.
Funerals for the dead men were held on Monday.
Mortars and bullets fly
In other incidents, two Israeli border police were shot and wounded as they patrolled along the "green line," the border between Israel and the West Bank north of Tulkarem. Ambulance workers said their wounds were "serious."
A small bomb, said to have been packed into a beer can, exploded at a Jerusalem grocery store in the city center Monday. Israeli police said there were no injuries.
A 9-year-old girl was injured Monday morning when a mortar hit the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in southern Gaza. Three mortars struck another Jewish settlement nearby, Netzer Hazani. No injuries were reported immediately in the second settlement.
Palestinian security sources said Israeli troops shot two Palestinians, ages 11 and 17, in southern Gaza near the Egyptian border. The Palestinians said the shooting was unprovoked, but the Israeli army said it was returning fire from anti-tank grenades.
And on the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an Israeli bus traveling near a Jewish settlement, lightly wounding the driver, the Israeli army said.
Jewish group wants to rebuild temple
Monday's incidents came less than a day after violence erupted at one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem for both Muslims and Jews, leaving at least 15 Israeli police injured and some 10 Palestinians hurt.
Hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks at several hundred Jews who were praying Sunday morning at the Western Wall, the outer wall of the compound. Police stormed the area, escorted the Jews to safety, and confronted the stone-throwers.
The violence followed an attempt by a small group of ultra-nationalist Jews to march on the site that Jews call Temple Mount and Muslims call Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary. The march was blocked by police.
The Jewish group, the "Temple Mount Faithful," wanted to plant a cornerstone for a future Jewish temple on the compound, which the Palestinians viewed as a provocative act.
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