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FOUR DEAD IN ISRAEL BEACH MISSILE STRIKE.

Byline: NICK SOMMERLAD

FOUR Palestinians were killed last night in a missile attack by Israelis - as a leading army chief threatened to hunt down Islamic militants.

Two of the dead men were named as Ahmed Aishtawi, 24, a senior militant and Wahid Hamaf. Both were members of Hamas' armed Izz-el-Deen al-Qassam military wing. The other two victims have not yet been identified.

The three missiles were fired from a helicopter aimed at armed men sitting near a crowded Gaza City beach.

Weapons were found next to their decapitated bodies, witnesses said.

Bystanders carried the bloodied body of one man to an ambulance.

Shadi Wassi said: "A huge explosion shook the ground under my feet. I saw trees burning, then another two huge explosions hit the area." Yesterday's attack comes just hours after Palestinian militants fired a rocket deep into Israeli territory.

Israeli army chief Moshe Yaalon warned yesterday that Israel would hunt down militants if the Palestinian Authority failed to crack down.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's security chief in the Gasa Strip Major-General Abdel-Razek al-Majaydeh yesterday ordered a stop to rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli.

Four days ago Hamas leader, Ismail Abu Shanab, was killed in a missile strike in retaliation for a Hamas bus bombing that killed 21 in Jerusalem.

Shanab's death prompted Hamas to declare a seven-week ceasefire over.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 25, 2003
Words:222
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