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Israeli Jets, Lebanese Exchange Fire; Palestinians Kill 1 Near Jenin

September 04, 2003|From Times Wire Services

TYRE, Lebanon — Israeli warplanes attacked the outskirts of a south Lebanese village Wednesday after Hezbollah gunners fired antiaircraft rounds at Israeli jets in Lebanon's airspace, Lebanese and Israeli security sources said.

Israeli army spokeswoman Sharon Feingold said the planes destroyed a cannon belonging to Hezbollah.

The planes struck the outskirts of Telal al Bayad, just north of the Lebanese border town of Naqoura, Lebanese security sources said.

Hezbollah, a militant Shiite Muslim group, confirmed that the Israelis hit one of its positions but said none of its fighters there was harmed.

The strike was the second in less than a month.

In other Middle East violence, Palestinian gunmen opened fire today on a group of Israelis near the West Bank city of Jenin, killing one of them, Israeli security sources said.

A caller who said he was from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade said the militant group, affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, had carried out the attack.

Israel, meanwhile, was watching for a confidence vote sought by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with Arafat. Israel says it will not deal with Arafat.

Palestinian parliament Speaker Ahmed Korei temporarily blocked the confidence vote Wednesday.

If a vote is held, the U.S.-backed Abbas, whose Palestinian support is minimal, could be toppled. Abbas is to address parliament today.

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