Militants take revenge for Nablus deaths

28 June 2004
An Israeli soldier was killed and several others were wounded on 28 June in an attack on an Israeli army outpost in the Gaza Strip. Both Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility, saying that the bombing was revenge for the assassination of their members by the Israelis, particularly the killing of seven militants in the West Bank town of Nablus the previous day.

The Gaza bomb went off in a tunnel dug beneath the army base at the Gush Katif junction. Israeli soldiers shortly afterwards killed a Palestinian policeman and a teenager near the Khan Younis refugee camp, and launched air strikes against metal workshops in Gaza City.

The Israeli raid on Nablus killed the head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Nayef Abu Sharkh, and the West Bank commander of Islamic Jihad, Sheikh Ibrahim. Tens of thousands attended their funerals on 28 June. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon applauded the operation, calling it an impressive achievement in the war against terrorism. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei condemned the continuation of the Israeli policy of targeted killing. 'This brutal crimeshows that Israel is going ahead with the plan of murder and assassination,' he said.

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