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One dead, 10 wounded in Israel strikes on Gaza: Palestinians
by Staff Writers
Gaza City, Palestinian Territories (AFP) Dec 27, 2011

Israeli air strikes killed at least one Palestinian and wounded 10, two seriously, in the Gaza Strip late on Tuesday, Palestinian medics and health officials told AFP.

They named the dead man as Abdallah al-Telbani, 22, and said he was riding in a motorised rickshaw in Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the strip when the attack took place. It was not immediately clear if the other casualties were riding with him.

A second strike hit a jeep travelling east of Gaza City, injuring 10 people, health ministry officials said.

An Israeli military statement said both strikes were aimed at followers of the hardline jihadi movement.

"Following the targeting of a global jihad affiliated terrorist and an additional member... aircraft targeted an additional terrorist squad affiliated with the global jihad terror movement," it said.

It said that a squad targeted in the second raid was known to the military, "due to its attempt in carrying out a terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border," but did not elaborate.

In August, gunmen infiltrated southern Israel from Sinai and carried out a coordinated series of ambushes on buses and cars on route 12, which runs along the Egyptian border some 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat.

The attacks took place over several hours, leaving eight dead and more than 25 wounded.

On December 8, Israeli aircraft killed two men in Gaza City that the military said had been planning another attack into Israel from Sinai.

"The Israel Defence Forces will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and... soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the state of Israel," Tuesday night's military statement said.

The latest air strikes took place on the third anniversary of the start of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's devastating 22-day offensive against the Hamas-ruled coastal strip and came as the militant group and its Fatah rivals sought to implement a reconciliation deal.

Since 2007, the Palestinian territories have been politically divided into two separate territories, with the Fatah of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas largely ruling the West Bank and Hamas governing Gaza.

In May, following years of bitter rivalry, the two factions signed a unity agreement which has yet to be implemented.

Gaza militants in October announced a truce with Israel but the ceasefire has been been a shaky one with sporadic rocket fire drawing Israeli retaliation.

The last Israeli strike on the strip was on December 11, when a Palestinian father and his daughter were wounded in a raid that apparently targeted a neighbouring building in Gaza City.

Two days earlier, a man and his 12-year-old son were killed and 10 civilians wounded when an Israeli air strike hit a family home in Gaza City which was located next to a Hamas militant training ground.

The operations followed days of rising tensions, with Gaza militants lobbing a barrage of rockets into southern Israel and the Israeli military launching a series of air raids.

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Israel arrests extremists over army base attack
Jerusalem (AFP) Dec 28, 2011 - Israeli police have arrested six Jewish extremists on suspicion of attacking an army base in the northern West Bank earlier this month, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Two of them are residents of Karnei Shomron settlement in the northern West Bank, while the other four -- one of whom is a minor -- are from Jerusalem, police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.

"Six Jews were arrested for attacking the Ephraim base in the northern West Bank," she said referring to an attack which took place earlier this month.

"One of them, who was from Karnei Shomron, was caught in the act and has been convicted" of forcing entry to the base and attacking it, she said. He is now awaiting sentence.

The other five suspects, who were arrested in the past three days, have had their remand in custody extended until Sunday, she said.

The six are only being investigated in connection with the attack on the Ephraim base and not with the ongoing wave of so-called "price tag" hate crimes targeting Palestinians and Arabs, she said.

The attack, which took place overnight on December 12-13, saw about 50 extremists forcing their way onto the base, setting fire to tyres and damaging vehicles with stones, paint and nails.

It enraged the Israeli leadership which vowed to clamp down on the perpetrators.

"Price-tag" vengeance attacks are usually carried out in response to state moves against illegal settlement outposts, but those behind them are almost never caught, let alone prosecuted.


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US military urges more trust with Pakistan after probe
Washington (AFP) Dec 26, 2011
The head of US Central Command urged greater trust and communications with the Pakistani military on Monday amid a diplomatic crisis after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month. General James Mattis made his recommendations after his command, which oversees US military operations across a wide swath of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, released the results of i ... read more

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