The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gunman kills five in Israel

Jerusalem, Nov. 11 (Reuters): Israeli foreign minister Benjamin Netanyahu called today for the removal of Yasser Arafat’s administration after a Palestinian gunman killed five Israelis, including a mother and her two children, in a kibbutz.

The hawkish ex-Premier, appointed last week after the collapse of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's unity government, raised the spectre of military retaliation that could complicate a new US peace mission that began hours after he spoke.

A gunman slipped overnight into Kibbutz Metzer, near the dividing line between northern Israel and the West Bank, and opened fire, killing a woman visitor and its administrator in a rare raid on a collective farm.

The militant then burst into a house, shooting dead a 34-year-old woman in the doorway of her children's room and killing her two sons, aged four and five, as they clutched covers over their head.

Today, Avi Ohayon staggered through the toy-filled room where his ex-wife and children died, then collapsed on a mattress when he spotted several small objects on a bed. “God help me,” he screamed. “They killed a child who had a pacifier.”

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Arafat's Fatah group, claimed responsibility. It said it was avenging Israel's killing of an Islamic militant leader, and vowed “more martyrdom attacks until occupation leaves our land”.

Arafat's Palestinian Authority expressed “strong condemnation of the killing of civilians” at the kibbutz, which it said was carried out while a “brutal war machine” kills Palestinian men, women and children.

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