Islamic Jihad Claims Gaza Terror Attack

By Julie Stahl | July 7, 2008 | 8:15 PM EDT

Jerusalem ( - An Israeli civilian was killed and three soldiers wounded when Palestinian militants ambushed an army jeep in the Gaza Strip settlement of Morag on Wednesday.

It is the worst attack since Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) won an overwhelming victory in Sunday's Palestinian presidential elections. Islamic Jihad, which boycotted the elections, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had been carried out by "two would-be martyrs."

However, military sources said at least three Palestinians had infiltrated the area. Two of them left, leaving one terrorist behind to detonate the explosives and fire on the jeep.

Abbas has urged radical groups to end the violence because it harms the Palestinian cause. But he also said he would not use force to disarm radicals.

The head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj.-General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, said that Abbas would not take on Hamas, nor would he try to confiscate illegal weapons.

"Abu Mazen will try to convince (Hamas) and appeal to Palestinian public opinion to put pressure on the terrorists by explaining that this generation has suffered enough," Zeevi was quoted as saying.

Three Qassam rockets were also fired at Israeli settlements in the southern Gaza Strip early on Wednesday, causing some damage but no injuries.

In a separate incident near the West Bank city of Ramallah, two armed Hamas operatives were shot dead when they fired on Israeli troops who had come to arrest them.

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