Israel fires on Palestinians planting explosives


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Air Force helicopters attacked two armed Palestinians believed to be planting explosives on the Gaza border.

It is not known if the men, who were fired on Sunday, were injured, according to reports.

Late last month, two Israeli soldiers were killed near the same spot while attempting to apprehend a group of Palestinian terrorists laying mines near the border fence.

Sunday’s incident comes a day after Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal said in Damascus that all options against Israel, including war, remain open. 

"We will do everything to obtain the rights stolen from us, including confrontation with the enemy," he said during a news briefing following meetings with senior members of Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Also Saturday, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, while saying that  “The Israelis have a right to self-defense,” called on Israel and the Palestinians to stop the violence and return to  indirect negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army on Sunday continued to investigate the death of a Palestinian man, 63, at an army checkpoint in the Jordan Valley. The man, who had diabetes, died of a heart attack after being required to wait for several hours Saturday night at a checkpoint while his dual French citizenship was investigated.

At least three rockets fired from Gaza struck southern Israel over the weekend, sending Israelis running for shelter. The attacks following Israeli airstrikes on weapons sites in the coastal strip.

Also last Friday, Israel’s military and other security forces worked to control riots by both Palestinian and Jewish activists.

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