Palestinian gunmen killed 3 Israelis

Palestinian gunmen made their way into a heavily fortified Israeli army post in the Gaza Strip under cover of morning fog Thursday and started shooting, killing three Israeli soldiers in a 45-minute firefight.

Two attackers were killed soon afterward, but a third hid near the post for several hours before firing on journalists inspecting the scene, wounding an Israeli newspaper reporter in the leg.

The infiltration came as Israeli forces wrapped up an operation in a nearby &to=http://' target=_blank>Gaza refugee camp amid signs of increasing tensions and violence ahead of Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza next year.

The earth-and-concrete outpost guards the isolated settlement of Morag in the southeast corner of Gaza. Taking advantage of heavy fog, &to=http://' target=_blank>Palestinian gunmen slipped unnoticed into the post at about 6 a.m. and opened fire, killing an Israeli officer and two soldiers and critically wounding another soldier, the military said, wrote the Guardian.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar has said that his movement will not halt suicide attacks against Israel, and denied reports that Hamas was willing to join the Palestinian Authority.

Zahar described Prime Minister &to=http://' target=_blank>Ariel Sharon/a>’s disengagement plan as a victory for the Palestinian camp that contends that the armed struggle is the only method to liberate the land.

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