IDF hunts for killers of Israeli hikers

Sunday, December 30, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli soldiers entered a large Arab hospital in the biblical Judean town of Hebron on Friday evening to search for the terrorists involved in the slaying of two Israeli hikers earlier in the day.

Four terrorists used an all terrain vehicle to approach the hikers before opening fire at close range. Two young Israeli men were killed in the attack, but not before returning fire and killing one terrorist and wounding two others. Israeli army officials later praised the bravery of the two victims, who were members of elite IDF units.

On Saturday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad said during a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres that he mourned the deaths of the two Israeli soldiers and was dedicated to ending bloodshed in the region.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman, meanwhile, conveyed a strongly worded message to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deploring the Palestinian Authority's failure to effectively combat terrorism despite pledging to do just that more than a decade ago.

Many of the terrorists who attack Israelis are today members of the official Palestinian Authority police and Mr. Fayyad's own Fatah party.

A growing number of Israeli experts are warning that even if Mr. Fayyad and his boss, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, are sincere about their desire for peace, they do not command the authority and loyalty necessary to put an end to Palestinian terrorism.

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