Funerals Held for Two of 10 Killed in W. Bank Sniper Attack

Funerals were held Sunday for two of the ten Israelis killed in a morning shooting attack at an IDF roadblock north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, near the settlement of Ofra. Seven of those killed were soldiers - six reservists and an officer - and three were civilians.

Captain Ariel Hovav, 25, from Eli, was laid to rest Sunday in Alkana and First Sergeant Major Raphael Levy, 42, from Rishon Letzion, was buried in the military section of the Ramle cemetery.

Six others were injured in the attack, four seriously.

Another Israeli was killed when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an IDF position south of the Kissufim crossing in the Gaza Strip.

The three civilians have been named as Serge Botrov, 33, from Ariel; Vadim Balgulah, 32, from Ariel and Yitzhak Didi, 66, from Ofra.

A total of 21 Israelis have been killed in four attacks in less than 24 hours, including nine people killed in a suicide attack in Jerusalem on Saturday evening and a policeman shot dead in the Judean Desert on Saturday afternoon.

Israel Radio reported that a single Palestinian sniper, armed with a non-automatic rifle, and positioned on a hilltop overlooking the IDF roadblock near Ofra, opened fire at soldiers and Israeli cars at around 7:00 A.M. The gunman also fired at first-aid workers arriving at the scene of the attack.

"We saw the direction the shooting came from, it was full of trees," said Hezi Tsur, a paramedic at the scene. "We saw the shots hitting the road near us, it was very accurate fire, there were snipers."

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militia linked to the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group also took responsibility for the suicide bombing in Jerusalem.

Shortly after the shooting near Ofra, an IDF soldier was killed and four people were injured - one moderately and three lightly - when gunmen fired at an IDF position south of the Kissufim crossing between Israel and Gaza. The soldier has been identified as Sergeant Steven Kenigsberg, 19, from Hod Hasharon.

IDF roadblocks, especially in the Ramallah area, which have been increasingly targeted by Palestinian gunmen, have proven to be a weak point in the army's deployment in the West Bank. Seven soldiers have been killed in two attacks on checkpoints in recent weeks - six at Ein Arik east of Ramallah, and one at Surda north of Jerusalem - as Palestinian gunmen have focused their attacks on IDF targets and settlers in the territories.

The head of Fatah-Tanzim in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti, on Sunday praised the attacks in the territories, calling them "heroic actions."

"Blessed be the fighting hands of the heroes, who dealt these blows to the army of occupation," he said.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to convene the security cabinet at 8:30 P.M to discuss Israel's response to the escalating attacks.

Names of soldiers killed in West Bank shooting attack releasedThe soldiers killed in the shooting attack near Ofra on Sunday were named as: - Captain Ariel Hovav, 25, from Eli, who was laid to rest Sunday afternoon in Alkana - First Sergeant Major Raphael Levy, 42, from Rishon Letzion, who was laid to rest Sunday at 7:30 P.M. in the military section of Ramle cemetery - Sergeant Major Avraham Ezra, 38, from Kiryat Bialik, who will be laid to rest Monday at 3:30 P.M. in Haifa's military cemetery - Sergeant Major Yohai Porat, 26, from Kfar Sava, who will be buried Monday at 4 P.M. in the military section of the Kfar Sava cemetery - Lieutenant David Demlin, 29, from Meitzar who will be buried Monday at 3 P.M. in the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul - Sergeant Major Kfir Weiss, 24, from Beit Shemesh, who will be laid to rest Monday at 1 P.M. in the military section of the Beit Shemesh cemetery - Sergeant Major Eran Gad, 24, from Rishon Letzion, who will be buried at the Rishon Letzion cemetery Monday at 3:45 P.M.

Police officer killed in Judean DesertA police officer, Moshe Dayan, was shot dead in the Judean Desert on Saturday while riding through the area on his motorbike. Bedouin residents in the area discovered the body of Dayan, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, close to the Mar Saba monastery in Nahal Kidron.

Dayan had been shot in the head, apparently not at close range since his weapon had not been taken and he was found in possession of his papers. His funeral will be held Sunday afternoon.

Police shoot and injure Israeli man in northPolicemen shot and lightly injured a young Israeli man Sunday at the Beit Rimon junction in the north of the country, after he ignored orders to stop. Police said the man was unarmed. He was taken to the Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.