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ARABS-ISRAEL - April 9 - Army Hits Gaza After Attack; Blast Hurts West Bank Students.

Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles charge into the northern Gaza Strip, near the town of Beit Hanun, killing 5 Palestinians - two policemen, a Hamas militant, a 16-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man. (The incursion comes after Hamas fired two rockets from northern Gaza early in the morning. One landed in the nearby Israeli town of Sederot, just outside Gaza's fence, but caused no damage or injuries). Meanwhile, more than 20 Palestinian teenagers were wounded in a bomb blast in a high school in Jaba, a village south of Jenin. A Palestinian student found the explosive just outside the school. He took it into a classroom as students returned from lunchtime recess, and it detonated, shattering desks and windows. More than 20 students were wounded, four seriously, PA officials said. The wounded were aged 15 and 16. Shortly afterwards, a Jewish group calling itself the "Revenge of the Toddlers", sent a pager message to journalists saying it carried out the attack in revenge for Jewish children killed by Palestinians. But the Israeli police said they could not verify the claim and could not reach the high school because it was in a PA-controlled area. The Army said it was not operating near Jaba, but sent a rescue team after it received word of the blast. The Palestinians turned down the aid. In political developments, Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas, who has been unable to form a cabinet in the three weeks since his appointment, received a 2-week extension to put together a revamped government. Abbas will now have until April 23 to complete his government after receiving an extension from Arafat, who predicted the new cabinet would be ready soon. PA sources have said Abbas is facing pressure from various Palestinian factions over his cabinet choices, with Arafat among those seeking to influence the cabinet makeup.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Apr 12, 2003
Words:304
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