Gaza gunmen kill pregnant mother, four children


Palestinian gunmen killed a pregnant Jewish settler and her four daughters in Gaza today.

An Israeli army spokesman said the family - a woman of 34 who was eight months pregnant and daughters aged 11, nine, seven and two - was ambushed in their car on the corridor road between Israel and Gush Katif, the main Gaza settlement.

Israeli troops shot dead the two gunmen shortly afterward.

It was the first such killing in Gaza since December 2002, when a Gush Katif settler was ambushed on the same road.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees said they carried out the attack to avenge the assassination of the Hamas leader and his successor in Israeli missile strikes.

"We tell Sharon that Israelis should flee Gaza and not leave as if it was a victory for them," they said in a statement.

Sharon condemned the attack as "terrible murder" and said it was an attempt to disrupt his plan, which Palestinians fear could dash their dream of a viable state in the near future.