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Undercover Soldiers Fire On Palestinians

Three undercover Israeli soldiers, evidently thinking they had been exposed on a stakeout in this Palestinian village, battered and shot several villagers Tuesday, killing one and injuring three, witnesses said.

The incident touched off a wave of rock throwing in the village and contributed to tensions already mounting throughout the West Bank over an announcement Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to make today authorizing the construction of new Jewish housing in east Jerusalem.

The Israeli army issued a brief statement saying that an undercover squad operating in Hizmeh was attacked by residents and responded with fire, killing one resident and wounding three others. The army said the incident was being investigated, and added that the Palestinian Authority had been informed that the firing was by soldiers, not civilians.

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