Mourners at terror victim's funeral block entrance to Palestinian village
Police forces try to evacuate mourners at funeral of Ido Zuldan, shot to death near Kedumim settlement.
Dozens of mourners at the funeral of Ido Zuldan, who was killed Monday night in a shooting attack in the West Bank, on Tuesday blocked the entrance to the Palestinian village Fourik, near the Kedumim settlement.
A large number of police and security forces personnel arrived at the site and spent hours trying to evacuate the protestors, according to the settlers' news agency, Kol Rina.
MK Effi Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party), who spoke at the funeral, harshly criticized the Olmert government.
"The land of Israel is telling the corrupt group who has taken control of the state: enough with the corrupt game that is gambling on human life and the lives of our best sons," he said.
Eitam also slammed the decision to free Palestinian prisoners, and blamed the government for knowingly putting Israeli Jews, and specifically West Bank settlers, into game of a Russian roulette.
"This is a government that gambles on its citizens' blood, that is undeserving of the Kedumim family, the Zuldan family, and of the heroes of Israel," said Eitam.
Zuldan, a resident of the settlement of Shavei Shomron, was driving toward the settlement of Karnei Shomron in the northern West Bank, when gunmen in a passing vehicle opened fire, critically wounding him.
Magen David Adom emergency medical technicians performed CPR on site, but were unable to revive him and pronounced the man's death shortly after.
Israel Radio reported that the assailants fled in the direction of nearby Palestinian towns, but Israel Defense Forces troops were scouring the area.
The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade took responsibility for the attack. A statement from the group said the shooting came in protest of the upcoming Annapolis peace summit and the "crimes of Israel against the Palestinians."
Following the incident, the defense establishment raised the alert level due to fears of additional attacks ahead of the Annapolis conference.
However, Riad Malki, the Palestinian minister of information and foreign affairs, said Abbas' West Bank-based government viewed the attack as an isolated incident that didn't reflect on the Palestinian security plan and shouldn't compromise peace efforts.
Later Monday night, IDF troops identified three armed Palestinians trying to infiltrate Israel from northern Gaza near the Israeli moshav of Nativ Ha'asara.
Israel Radio reported that the IDF opened fire, killing two of the gunmen. The third man fled, apparently into the Strip.
The IDF reported that an exchange of fire followed the incident.
At approximately the same time, two more gunmen made their way towards the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. IDF soldiers spotted them, opened fire in their direction, and killed them.
Meanwhile, five Qassam rockets and 18 mortar shells struck the western Negev on Monday. One female soldier suffered shock when a rocket struck the city of Ashkelon, and was taken to Barzilai Medical Center for treatment. Several buildings suffered light damage.
In response to the rocket fired into Ashkelon, the city's mayor, Roni Mahatzri, called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to condition his participation in the upcoming Annapolis peace conference on the cessation of Qassam rocket fire into Israel from the Gaza Strip.