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Israeli gunboat and helicopter launch rocket attacks at Gaza City targets.

An Israeli gunboat and a helicopter fired several rockets at targets in Gaza City in synchronised attacks several minutes apart last night.

At least one person was killed and more than 20 wounded, according to reports.

The targets of the attacks were believed to be in the Jabalya refugee camp. Ambulances were heard racing to the scene of the gunboat attack, just north of Gaza City.

Israeli soldiers and undercover troops also snatched two wounded Palestinians, one involved in a suicide bombing, from their West Bank hospital beds in a raid yesterday.

Soldiers armed with M-16 rifles asked a nurse to lead them to the two wounded fugitives -one of them responsible for a suicide bombing that killed an Israeli in a supermarket on August 12. They then grabbed their medical files and wheeled the two men out on their hospital beds to waiting ambulances.

The two wanted men -members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a militant group loosely affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction -were driven to Israel's Beilinson Hospital near Tel Aviv and were being treated for moderate injuries, military sources said.

The two men are Othman Younis (27) and Fahid BaniOdeh (25). Israel accuses Younis of helping plan several attacks in which at least ten people were killed, including an August 12 suicide bombing that killed a father of two in central Israel and came in the midst of a ceasefire declared by the militant groups on June 29.

Younis and Bani-Odeh are 'hardcore' members of Al Aqsa, said the group's spokesman, who goes by the name Abu Mujahed. He confirmed that Younis helped plan the suicide bombing.

A two-month truce, which had markedly reduced three years of violence, collapsed under last week's violence -a suicide bomber killed 21 people on a Jerusalem bus on Tuesday, and Israel killed a top-ranking Hamas political leader two days later.

Since the bombing, Israel has killed seven Hamas members, including a senior leader, in missile strikes, which marked the renewal of Israel's policy to hunt and kill militants.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 27, 2003
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