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Israeli jets hit Palestinian targets

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The Israeli attack was said to be in response to Palestinian attacks Saturday  


JERUSALEM -- Israeli F-16 jets have fired missiles at Palestinian police headquarters in Gaza City, wounding three Palestinian policemen and causing heavy damage, Palestinian security officials say.

The officials say planes also hit a Palestinian military intelligence post in Deir al-Balah, south of Gaza. There are no immediate reports of casualties.

Reuters quotes an Israeli Army statement as saying the jets successfully attacked the Palestinian Blue (civilian) police headquarters in Gaza City, military intelligence and Blue police headquarters in Deir al-Balah, and Palestinian police headquarters in Salfit village south of Nablus on the West Bank.

The statement said the raids were in response to Palestinian attacks Saturday in which an officer and two soldiers were killed and seven soldiers wounded in Gaza, and two civilians were killed and three wounded on the Modi'in Road.

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Witnesses told CNN the tanks came about three kilometers (1.7 miles) inside Palestinian territory and destroyed two security outposts. The move followed separate incidents Saturday that killed seven people -- five Israelis and two Palestinians.

A Palestinian security official called Sunday's strikes "a very grave aggression from the Israeli Army" and said they would lead to a "very dangerous situation" in the area, Reuters reports.

The Israeli statement said "direct hits were recorded on the targets and the planes returned safely to base."

The statement said the Israeli military "will do everything in its power to ensure the safety of Israeli civilians and its forces."

Palestinian officials said that Israeli tanks and bulldozers had pulled back after incursions in the Palestinian-ruled area at Rafah in southern Gaza.

Hospital officials said a Palestinian policeman was killed and at least two Palestinians were wounded in fighting.

'Heroic operation'

The Israel Defense Forces said the two Palestinians who attacked their post in Gaza early Saturday were killed in the assault. Another seven Israeli soldiers were wounded when the Palestinians infiltrated the IDF outpost in Gush Khatif, a block of Jewish settlements.

The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack in Gaza.

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An Israeli soldier at Marganit military base in Gaza Saturday, following the attack on his unit.  

"This heroic operation is an answer to the ugly aggressive war waged by the criminal Sharon against our people," the Palestinian group said.

Israeli military officials said the Palestinians opened fire and threw hand grenades before being killed. Security sources said the three Israelis killed included a deputy battalion commander and two soldiers.

Sharon spokesman Avi Pazner told Reuters: "This attack is particularly serious because they have penetrated an Israeli base."

A later attack by suspected Palestinian gunmen near Jerusalem left an Israeli couple dead and three others wounded, including two children, medical officials said. The attack happened about 10:30 p.m. Saturday on a road between the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeez and the town of Modi'in, police said.

The husband and wife were killed instantly, while a third adult -- the vehicle's driver -- was seriously wounded. The children's injuries were described as minor.






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