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Twenty-two year-old Avihu Kaynan from Shilo was killed and seven other troops injured ? at least one seriously  - when a gunman ambushed them on a pre-dawn raid of an Islamic Jihad leader?s house in southern Gaza. A three-year old child was also reportedly killed in the cross-fire, before the gunman and his Hamas associate were killed by return fire.

In Hebron, Israeli Border Police commandos killed two Islamic Jihad leaders in a firefight, striking another blow to the terror group?s infrastructure in southern Judea. Jihad Shweike, the commander of the Islamic Jihad military wing in Hebron and Abed Rahim Salahme, commander of the group?s operations in the Hebron villages, were both killed. Another gunman was wounded and taken for treatment and questioning after surrendering.

In the past five weeks, Israeli security forces have delivered a lethal blow to the Hebron area Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells, killing four of each organization?s principle military leaders.

The raids came as Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin declared his group would not join a new Palestinian government unless it committed to liberating all of historic Palestine. Speaking to reporters in a Gaza mosque for fear of Israeli airstrikes, he denied reports that negotiations were underway for a new temporary ceasefire or ?hudna?.

"If the next government is the way to liberate the land, it is welcome, but if it is being set up so we can surrender, we won't raise white flags,? Yassin said insisting, "this is not the time to talk of a hudna," and denying the issue was ever raised in discussions with Palestinian Prime Minister designate Ahmed Qurei.

Qurei recently addressed the "chaos of weapons" in the Palestinian areas, but has not said what steps, if any, he would take to get illegal weapons off the street, as required by the US-backed "roadmap" peace plan. Qureia and other officials have said they would not use force against the terrorist groups.

Yassin, meanwhile insisted that Hamas would not disarm. "The weapons that our people carry to defend our land and our people, nobody can confiscate them," he said. "We can only talk about this after liberating the land. Taking weapons means surrender and defeat," he said.


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