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Missiles rip Palestinian security building

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday it attacked a Palestinian security building -- a post of the elite Force 17 security guard unit close to Beit Hanun in Gaza -- in reaction to the firing of mortar bombs overnight at Israeli targets from Gaza.

One of the mortar bombs landed within Israeli territory next to the Gaza border and three others landed within the Gush Katif settlement. No injuries or damage were reported in the shelling.

Palestinian security sources said a Palestinian soldier was injured in the attack on the Force 17 post.

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Also on Wednesday, the IDF said soldiers found and detonated two powerful bombs placed on the border fence near the Sufa crossing into Gaza.

The incidents follow what Israeli police are calling a suicide bombing in Jerusalem on Tuesday, when a man blew himself up on a busy street, killing himself and injuring at least 12 people, at least three seriously.

Police stopped the bomber -- who they thought was acting suspiciously and who was dressed as an Orthodox Jew -- to ask him for identification when they said he panicked and exploded the bomb.

The attack took place just a few blocks away from the site of an August 9 suicide bombing that killed 16 people, including the bomber.

Israel blames Palestinian officials -- particularly Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat -- for not doing enough to stop Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets.

The Palestinians argue that Israel is occupying their territory and must expect resistance.

The violence underscored the difficulties faced in the long-standing Mideast peace process and set a somber tone for European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana's efforts to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together at the negotiation table.

Solana was trying to arrange a meeting between Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

• Palestine Red Crescent Society
• Israel Defense Forces
• Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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