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Published:June 24th, 2008 13:05 EST
Two Palestinians killed in West Bank raid

Two Palestinians killed in West Bank raid

By SOP newswire

The Israeli military says its troops have killed two Palestinian militants during an overnight raid in the West Bank.

A military spokesman says the men were killed during an exchange of fire with troops early Tuesday in the city of Nablus. It says at least one of the militants was wanted for planning anti-Israeli attacks.

The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed one of its senior members, Tarek Juma, was killed in the raid. Hours later, the group claimed responsibility for two rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel in retaliation for the raid.

Israeli officials say no one was wounded in the attacks on the southern town of Sderot Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert`s office called the incident a violation of a cease-fire that took effect last week in and around the Hamas-ruled territory. The Palestinian militant group says it remains committed to the truce.

The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas applies specifically to the Gaza Strip and does not formally include the West Bank.

In Germany Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the deadly Israeli raid. He said the incident is an example of activity that must stop immediately if efforts to restore order in the West Bank are to succeed.

In other news, Israeli officials say Egypt has pledged to keep its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip closed until a deal is reached on the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Officials say Egypt made the assurance during talks today between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Hamas militants seized Shalit during a cross-border raid two years ago.

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