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Sources: 5 Palestinians killed in West Bank

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli troops shot and killed four Palestinian workers who were attempting to cut a fence near the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday, according to Israeli sources.

The four were on their way to work when the incident happened, Palestinian sources said. But Israeli officials said they were found cutting the fence of the agricultural fields of the settlement of Kiryat Arba. The Israeli forces opened fire on the four, killing them, sources on both sides said.

After inspecting the bodies, troops found an ax, wire cutters and a saw, Israeli sources said, adding the army had been warned that Palestinians would try to attack the area.

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Also Sunday, the 17-year-old son of an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin was killed during an exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian security sources said.

Saturday night, two Israeli civilians were wounded -- one seriously -- when a Palestinian gunman infiltrated the settlement of Har Bracha near Nablus.

The gunman was reportedly shot dead by Israeli soldiers guarding the settlement.

A commander of the militant Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Ashraf Darghma, was among five Palestinians killed earlier Saturday by an Israeli helicopter missile strike in the northern West Bank, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said. Two of Darghma's bodyguards and two children playing near the car carrying the men also died, the Red Crescent Society said.

The Israel Defense Forces issued a statement acknowledging the attack, saying its soldiers were trying to prevent terrorist attacks expected in the next few days.

Al Aqsa is an offshoot of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks across Israel. The U.S. State Department has declared it a terrorist organization.



 
 
 
 


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