THREE Palestinian guerillas infiltrated an Israeli army post at dawn yesterday, killing three Israeli soldiers in a fierce gun battle before being shot dead.
Heavy fog made it possible for the three attacker to enter the army outpost guarding the isolated Morag settlement in southern Gaza. A gun battle erupted at about 6am and lasted for about 45 minutes.
In addition to the three Israeli soldiers killed, a fourth was critically wounded, the army said.
Two of the guerillas were killed in the gun battle and a third escaped, it said.
Several hours later, the third guerilla opened fire and an Israeli reporter was wounded in the thigh.
The third attacker was killed after a 30-minute shoot-out.
Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees - an umbrella group of Palestinian factions - and the Ahmed Abu El-Rish Brigades, which is a group with ties to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed joint responsibility for the attack.
A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees said that the plan had been for two guerillas to engage soldiers in a battle while a third planted bombs to be detonated at an Israeli military convoy.
But, when the soldiers found the third guerilla hiding near greenhouses, they prevented the bombs from being set, he said.
Following a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem bus stop on Wednesday which killed two Israeli border police officers and injured 16 people, Israeli army bulldozers demolished the home of the bomber's family early yesterday.
The Israeli army said that it had also destroyed the home of the man suspected of dispatching the bomber.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has links with Fatah, claimed responsibility for the attack.
In Gaza's Khan Younis refugee camp, Israeli troops demolished seven homes.
A gun battle erupted and an Israeli helicopter fired missiles, which wounded 15 Palestinians.
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