Hamas's armed wing claimed responsibility for shooting an Israeli electrical worker near the Karni crossing on Monday, only days after the establishment of a new Palestinian unity government with Fatah. The 40-year-old worker was moderately wounded by a Palestinian sniper and was evacuated to Beersheba's Soroka Hospital for treatment. According to Israel Radio, Hamas claimed that the latest attack was in retaliation for Israel's "crimes in the West Bank."
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According to David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister's Office, "This terror attack is precisely what the new Palestinian government refuses to condemn, thus rejecting the conditions placed upon it by the international community."
The incident comes just days after a new Palestinian unity government was sworn in. During his speech at the swearing-in ceremony, PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called for the continued pursuit of "resistance" against Israel, and added that his government would support "all forms of resistance."
Haniyeh read out the main points of his government's political program: an end to Israeli occupation and recognition of the Palestinians' right to self-determination, respecting UN resolutions and agreements signed between the PLO and Israel, rejecting the idea of a Palestinian state within temporary borders and emphasizing the right of return of the refugees to their original homes and lands.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Raymond Johansen flew to the Middle East on Sunday, and met Haniyeh on Monday morning, marking the country's restoration of political and economic ties with the Palestinian government.
Johansen was the first senior European official to meet the new the government. More meetings were planned for later in the day, said ministry spokesman Roy Freddy Andersen.
Norway was the first country to lift sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in response to the approval of the new unity government on Saturday.
Also on Sunday, the cabinet voted overwhelmingly against holding diplomatic talks with the Palestinian unity government, since it refused to explicitly recognize Israel and continued to advocate "resistance" in any form.
In other news, IDF troops arrested a Palestinian woman on Monday at the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, after a search of her bag revealed a knife.
The woman confessed that she had planned to stab one of the soldiers at the checkpoint.
The troops confiscated the knife, and the woman was transferred to security forces for questioning.
No one was hurt in the incident.