Two Israeli Soldiers Killed in Terror Attack

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Two Israeli soldiers were killed Friday in an attack launched by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Four Palestinians also died in the firefight, which began when the terrorists apparently tried to plant an explosive device near Israel's northern border with Gaza.

One of the Israelis killed was a regiment deputy commander, Maj. Eliraz Peretz, 31. The other soldier was 1st Lt. Ilan Sviatkovsky, who died when a bullet fired by a Palestinian hit a grenade he was carrying in his vest. Two other soldiers were wounded, one seriously.

Four people have now died in attacks this week. An Israeli soldier was killed by friendly fire in an anti-terrorist operation and a Thai farm worker died in a rocket attack.

Several groups, including Hamas, have claimed responsibility for Friday's attack. Islamic Jihad and another Al Qaeda-affiliated group also claimed responsibility. The Israeli Defense Forces say it will hold Hamas responsible because it controls the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying he "joins in the grief of the families of the soldiers."

And in a hint of military retaliation to come, the statement read, "Israel's strong positions against those wishing to harm its civilians and soldiers are well known."

Sources: Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post

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