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Israel is Zionist enemy, says Abbas

BEIT LAHIYA (GAZA STRIP), JAN. 4. Two Israeli tank shells slammed into a field in response to Palestinian mortar fire Tuesday, killing seven Palestinians, including at least two children, in the deadliest single incident in three months.

In condemning the deaths, Mahmoud Abbas, the front-runner in the campaign for Palestinian leader, called Israel the ``Zionist enemy,'' a marked escalation in anti-Israel rhetoric for the relative moderate.

Mr. Abbas later came very close to the fighting, with two loud explosions going off as he was about to visit survivors of the shelling at a northern Gaza hospital. Palestinian security officials said the explosions were set off by tank shells, a response to homemade rockets launched by Palestinian militants. Mr. Abbas' motorcade sped away.

The fighting began on Tuesday morning, with militants firing mortar rounds that injured an Israeli woman. — AP

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