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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

11 Palestinians Killed in Weekend of Violence

HEBRON, West Bank -- Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians early Sunday not far from a Jewish grave site near the West Bank city of Hebron, adding to an already bloody weekend in which seven other Palestinians, including two children, were killed.

Also Sunday, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank town of Jenin in a fierce gun battle, the army and members of the militant Islamic Jihad said. Abdel Kareem Sadi, 16, the son of Bassam Sadi, the group's Jenin district leader, was shot in the back, Islamic Jihad sources said. Two other gunmen were wounded in the fighting that erupted when troops entered a refugee camp early in the morning.

And in Tubas on Saturday an Israeli helicopter fired three missiles at a car, apparently targeting two militants from the Al-Aqsa Brigades, a militia affiliated with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. Rafat Daraghmeh, one of the militants, was killed, as were three teens in the car and a 10-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl walking nearby, witnesses and hospital officials said. The other militant, 27-year-old Jihad Sauafta, and six bystanders were wounded.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat called the strike a "brutal act of murder." The Israeli army issued a statement expressing "sorrow over the loss of civilian life." It said its helicopters hit a car carrying several wanted men responsible for planning attacks in Israel that were to have taken place in the next few days.

The fresh wave of violence came on the heels of Israeli-Palestinian attempts to implement the first steps of a plan meant to lead to a wider truce in nearly two years of fighting. But even in the Gaza Strip, one of the two test places for the phased cease fire, the army reported gun battles and Palestinians said five members of a family were wounded when soldiers fired a tank shell at their home. Palestinian security officials said Israeli bulldozers demolished a three-story building near the Gaza-Egypt border early Sunday, leaving 10 people homeless.

The army said that in the incident near Hebron, four Palestinians were trying to infiltrate a fence near the grave of a Jewish rabbi. But Palestinian witnesses said the men -- laborers in a stone factory -- were killed in cold blood while they slept.

"This is the third massacre in 48 hours. It's a dangerous escalation and the Israeli government is completely responsible for this massacre," Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to Arafat, said.

Palestinians identified the dead as Hassam Khalikeh, 20, his brother Hisham Khalikeh, 21, Ala Alaieeh, 23 and his cousin Attiyeh Alaieeh.

Soldiers, who had warnings that four Palestinians would try to carry out an attack in the area -- not far from the Palestinian village of Bani Naim and the agricultural fields of the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba -- saw the group cutting the fence, fired and killed them, the army said.