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Two die after Jerusalem shooting

Israeli police and medical personnel evacuate an unidentified wounded woman after a shooting attack in downtown Jerusalem on Tuesday.  

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Two Israeli women died of wounds sustained in an attack a day earlier by a Palestinian gunman who opened fire on pedestrians in central Jerusalem.

Jerusalem police spokesman Gil Kleiman said 16 other people received gunshot wounds and 21 were treated for shock.

The gunman was shot dead by police.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah guerrillas fired missiles from Lebanon at Israeli outposts Wednesday in the disputed Shebaa Farms area near Har Dov, the Israel Defense Forces said. No one was injured, and the IDF said the Israeli military was returning fire.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military arm of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, said it carried out Tuesday's attack in Jerusalem.

Gunman opens fire on a downtown street, injuring 46 people before being killed.The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claims responsibility.

NABLUS, West Bank
Israeli troops kill four members of Hamas in a raid on what Israel describes as an explosives laboratory. In response, the Islamic fundamentalist group vows it will wage an "all-out war" against Israel.

Israel announces it has begun to withdraw troops after taking over the town and arresting what it describes as "20 terror supporters."

CNN's Mike Hanna reports on the escalation of violence in the Middle East, including an Israeli raid in Nablus and a shooting in central Jerusalem (January 22)

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Israeli authorities identified one of the victims as Sarah Hamburger, 78, of Jerusalem. The other victim's identity was not available.

The brigades identified the gunman as Saeed Ibrihim Ramadan, 24, from a village near Nablus, and said the attack was in revenge for the killing of Fatah leader Raed al-Karmi on January 14 and for the slaying of four Hamas activists.

The Hamas activists were killed earlier Tuesday in Nablus in a raid by the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF said the raid targeted an explosives laboratory, and said the people killed were terrorists.

The Israel Defense Forces said nine other Palestinians were arrested during the operation.

A short time later, Hamas said it would wage an "all out war" against Israel, rejecting a cease-fire called by Arafat on December 16.

This week's violence in the region were the latest developments in a recent upsurge that has seen increased attacks by Palestinian militants against Israeli soldiers and civilians followed by retaliatory strikes by Israel. Political relations between the two sides were further strained by the discovery of a shipload of missiles and other arms that Israel says was destined for the Palestinians.

According to Palestinian security sources, the four killed in the Nablus raid were Youssef Surabgi, Nassim Abu al Russ, Jasser Samaro, and Karim Mafarjeh.

Israeli security sources said two of the dead men -- Samaro and al Russ -- were involved in building bombs used in terror attacks in Haifa, at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem and at the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv.

The latest round of violence is part of an upsurge that began after Karmi was killed in an explosion as he walked by a cemetery in Tulkarem.

Karmi had claimed responsibility for the killing of two Tel Aviv restaurant owners and Israel blamed him for the deaths of at least eight other Israelis.

Palestinians accused Israel of assassinating Karmi. The Israeli government has refused to confirm or deny any involvement in his death.

The Al Aqsa Military Brigades released this photo of Saeed Ramadan, identified as the gunman in Tuesday's shooting in Jerusalem.  

In Ramallah Tuesday, a Palestinian Authority spokesman blamed the Jerusalem shooting on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Sharon is responsible for what's happening," said Nabil Abu Redeneh, a spokesman for Arafat. "He is responsible for the cycle of killings and escalations. Until the United States is convinced that there should be a political resolution to this conflict, there will be no end to the cycle of violence."

But Ra'anan Gissin, a spokesman for Sharon, blamed Arafat. He said it is now clear that "the attack today is part of deliberate campaign of Mr. Arafat and PLO to escalate the situation."

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the IDF said its troops began withdrawing from the West Bank town of Tulkarem. Palestinians disputed that assertion.

The seizure of Tulkarem Monday marked the first time the Israeli military has taken control of an entire Palestinian town since the current Palestinian uprising began 16 months ago. The IDF said it "successfully completed its mission and is currently stationed around the city, prepared for any eventuality."

Lt. Gen. Shaul Moffaz, chief of the IDF general staff, said Israeli troops had arrested "20 terror supporters" including four people on Israel's most wanted list.




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