Israeli killed in Palestinian ambush in Hebron


Palestinian gunmen have shot dead one Israeli and wounded another near the Tomb of the Patriarchs shrine in the West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli security sources said.

The incident occurred along a route where Palestinians laid an ambush on November 15th that killed 12 Israeli soldiers and security men from the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba.

Settlers had set up a caravan settlement near the scene of last month's attack, along "Worshippers' Way" that leads to Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs, revered by Jews and Muslims as the burial place of the biblical Abraham.

The gunmen opened fire today about 60 metres (yards) from the holy site, which also houses the al-Ibrahimi mosque, where a Jewish settler massacred 29 worshippers in 1994.

The security sources said the Israeli wounded in Thursday's attack was in serious condition.

Israeli armoured personnel carriers and jeeps rolled into the centre of the city as soldiers ordered Palestinian men out of their homes in a search for the gunmen, witnesses said.

Some 450 Jewish settlers live in heavily protected enclaves in Hebron among 130,000 Palestinians. Hebron was divided into Israeli- and Palestinian-controlled sectors under a 1997 interim peace deal.