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Israeli soldier killed in Palestinian militant attack in Gaza

RIA Novosti

06/03/2008 15:03 TEL AVIV, March 6 (RIA Novosti) - One soldier was killed and three more wounded in a roadside bomb blast near the Gaza border on Thursday, the Israeli military said.

Militants activated an explosive device when an Israeli Defense Forces patrol jeep approached the Kissufim border crossing in the central Gaza Strip, an army spokesman said.

The Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility for the soldier's death, saying it was an act of revenge for the death of one of the group's field commanders in an Israeli airstrike earlier this week.

Meanwhile, an Israeli air attack on Thursday on a rocket-launch site in the northern Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian militant and wounded two more, local radio said. Gaza has been controlled by the radical Islamic Hamas movement since June of last year.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that she had managed to convince both the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks suspended over the recent Israeli ground offensive in Gaza. More than 120 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli operation, which was launched in response to rocket attacks by militants on southern Israel from the enclave.

Rice was on a two-day Middle East tour with the aim of salvaging Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, launched at a U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis in November last year.

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