- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 26, 2002

JERUSALEM A Palestinian gunman opened fire at a bus stop in north Jerusalem late yesterday, capping a day of violence in which four persons were killed and two pregnant women one Israeli and one Palestinian were shot at. They later gave birth to healthy babies.
The bus-stop attack took place after nightfall in Neve Yaakov, a Jewish neighborhood in a disputed part of Jerusalem that both sides have claimed. At least one Palestinian started shooting at Israelis, wounding eight persons, among them three policemen, police and witnesses said.
Eyewitness Yulia Kizgila, 23, saw the gunman. "He ducked behind a car and fired," and police fired back, she said. The car was riddled with bullets and the street was smeared with blood.
Police charged the attacker and shot him, said Jerusalem police commander Mickey Levy. At first police said there were two gunmen, one of whom was killed. Then they said one was critically wounded. Two hours after the incident, however, they said there was only one attacker.
In Nablus, the Al Aqsa Brigades said the attacker belonged to the group, linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. The organization also claimed responsibility for another attack on Israelis on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Israel pulled back the tanks surrounding Mr. Arafat's compound in the West Bank. Angry Palestinian officials said the move was meaningless because of the continued restrictions on the movements of the Palestinian leader.
The day's violence began in the West Bank, where two Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli troops in separate confrontations at military checkpoints. Shortly before the bus-stop attack, two Israelis died in a gunfire attack at a roadblock near the isolated Jewish settlement of Nokdim, south of Bethlehem.
One of the Palestinians killed was taking his pregnant wife to the hospital in Nablus. The Israeli military said soldiers opened fire after the car ignored orders to stop and tried to drive around the roadblock. The woman, who was slightly injured, gave birth to a girl shortly after her husband died.
Israeli soldiers at checkpoints have been especially wary since six soldiers were killed by Palestinian gunmen in a roadblock attack last week outside the West Bank city of Ramallah.
In the nighttime attack on Israelis in which two men were killed, a pregnant Jewish woman was seriously wounded and gave birth to a healthy baby. One other person was injured in the shooting, for which the Al Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility in a telephone call to the Associated Press.


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