Violence Lull Ends in Israel; 6 Killed

JERUSALEM?In the first deadly Palestinian attack on Israelis in nearly a month, two Palestinians stormed an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, killing four soldiers before being shot dead in a gunbattle, the military said.

The attack, claimed by the Islamic militant Hamas group, dealt a severe blow to U.S. truce efforts. Earlier this week, a U.S. mediator had left the region on a hopeful note, saying both sides were working toward a truce.

The four soldiers killed Wednesday were members of the Israeli army’s Desert Reconnaissance Battalion, made up almost entirely of Bedouin Arabs.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said he was sticking to the truce.

However, Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz held Arafat’s government responsible, saying the incident proved “beyond any doubt that the Palestinian Authority is not fighting against the infrastructure of terrorism.”