Gunman Wounds Israeli Near Gaza Settlement

Man shot by sniper while working on fence around Morag; rescue workers say wounds not life-threatening.

A Palestinian gunman wounded an Israeli working near the southern Gaza Strip settlement of Morag on Tuesday afternoon.

The attack came as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon prepared to meet representatives of some Gaza Strip settlements, whose members seek to be moved as a group to the Nitzanim area south of Ashkelon.

The man, shot while working on a fence in the hothouse area of the Rafah-area settlement, was rushed to medical care nearby, then evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva where he underwent surgery.

His condition was initially reported as serious, but rescue workers later said his wounds were not life-threatening.

A military source said the man was wounded in the stomach. Israel Radio said it appeared that a Palestinian sniper had shot him.

The Popular Resistance Committee claimed responsibility for the attack, Army Radio reported. Violence has declined sharply in Gaza and the West Bank since Israel and the Palestinian Authority declared a cease-fire in February. However, the PRC had maintained it would not adhere to the cease-fire agreement.

Earlier, a bomb planted by Palestinians was detonated near an Israeli military vehicle near Rafah, causing no casualties or damage, the military source and Palestinian witnesses said.