Policeman Sleeping in Car is Shot by Arab Terrorists

An Israeli policeman was shot and badly wounded early Thursday by Arab gunmen while he slept in his car on the road between Ramla and Rehovot.

Later in the day, a 7-year-old Palestinian boy was reported shot and killed during stone-throwing clashes between the Israeli army and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The army said it was investigating the killing.

In the earlier attack, the Israeli policeman, a senior officer who heads the national volunteer department in the civil guard, was returning home after a period of reserve training at an army base in the south when he was assaulted.

He told police investigators it was about 4 a.m. when he became tired and decided to stop and rest at a junction south of Rehovot.

He said a car with Israeli license plates stopped next to his. Two men got out of the car, walked toward him while speaking Arabic and began shooting.

At least five bullets hit him.

Despite his injuries, the policeman tried to drive after the gunmen, who had fled in their car. But he soon abandoned the effort because he was afraid of losing consciousness.

After his car came to a halt on the road, a man who thought it was a police roadblock stopped and discovered the wounded police officer.

The man took him to the hospital, where his injuries were described as moderate. Three of the bullet wounds were said to be superficial.

Police Commissioner Rafi Peled said the incident was similar to the shooting deaths several weeks ago of two police officers who had been sleeping in their car near Hadera.

It was the Hadera attack that led Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to seal off the West Bank. The gunmen in that attack have not been caught.

After the latest attempted killing, police said they were launching a widespread search for the attackers.

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