Hamas claims Samaria shooting spree

Group says it delayed claim to give gunmen time to escape; soldier seriously hurt in Wednesday's attack.

October 26, 2007 14:14
1 minute read.
Hamas claims Samaria shooting spree

ariel junc. shooting . (photo credit: AP)

Hamas took responsibility on Friday for a shooting attack near a West Bank settlement in which an IDF soldier was seriously wounded. Wednesday's attack began at the Ariel junction, where terrorists sprayed a hitchhiking post with bullets from 100 to 150 meters away before speeding down a busy road while firing at passing cars. A previously unknown offshoot of Fatah had taken responsibility for the shooting, which also lightly wounded a civilian. But Hamas said Friday in a statement on its Web site that it was responsible. The claim, which appeared to be more reliable than that of the Fatah group, was delayed in order to give the attackers time to evade Israeli security, the group said. Hamas operatives "continue their heroic and high-quality operations to teach the enemy a lesson," the statement said. The shooting, if it was by Hamas, would be significant since the group has not taken responsibility for many attacks in the West Bank in recent months. Security officials have said recently that they suspect Hamas and other terror groups will try to carry out attacks in an attempt to derail the peace conference to be held in the United States by the end of the year. Despite Hamas's claim, IDF soldiers said earlier Friday that it had arrested six Palestinians in the Nablus area on suspicion of involvement in the shooting rampage. The Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that among the detainees were three brothers, all Fatah operatives.

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