- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009

JERUSALEM (AP) - A woman opened fire on a police station in southern Israel Saturday before officers shot back and killed her, in an apparent Palestinian militant attack.

The shooting took place near the desert town of Beersheba, police spokesman Moshe Fintzy said. The woman fired at a paramilitary police post but did not hit anyone before she was gunned down, he said. Authorities have not yet identified the woman, but police said the shooting appeared to be a militant attack.

If so it would mark the second attack of the week and pose an early test for the new, hard-line government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu has promised a firm hand against Palestinian militants and lowered expectations on prospects for peace.

On Thursday, a day after the prime minister took office, a Palestinian killed an Israeli teenager with a pickax and seriously injured a 7-year-old boy in a rampage through a West Bank Jewish settlement.

Sporadic violence along the border with Gaza also threatens to re-ignite clashes after Israel’s three-week offensive in the territory earlier this year.

Israeli forces shot and killed two militants who were approaching the Gaza border on Saturday, Palestinian medics and the Israeli military said.

The military said the two men were armed and Israeli forces entered Gaza and fired on them.

Elsewhere in Gaza, militants fired at least two mortar shells toward Israel, the army and militants said. There were no reports of damage.

Violence has been sporadic since Israel halted its assault on Gaza in late January that was meant to stop rocket attacks from the coastal territory at nearby Israeli communities. There are fears, however, that occasional attacks could develop into larger clashes between Israel and Palestinian militants.

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Associated Press Writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City contributed to this report.


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