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Michael Wines

Error (New York Times, Michael Wines, 12/3/02): Islamic Jihad mounted a second attack in Gaza this afternoon, an official of the group said in an interview. It fired two mortar shells at any army outpost near Beit Hanun, in an industrial zone near the northern border of the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the Israeli military said troops did not respond because the shells fell short. An Islamic Jihad official said an Israeli shell fired in response killed one man and wounded another.

Fact: Palestinian security forces as well as Israeli officials discount Islamic Jihad’s claim that an Israeli shell was responsible for the man’s death. According to AFP, “Palestinian security sources said the man was killed accidentally Monday by mortars fired by Islamic Jihad in an attack on Israeli troops” (“Islamic Jihad denies killing Palestinian worker in Gaza,” Dec. 3). Similarly, AP’s Mark Lavie reports: “The fourth Palestinian, a sanitation worker at the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel, was killed when a mortar fired by Palestinians at an Israeli position fell short of its target, Palestinian security officials said” (Dec. 3).