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Israel soldier wounded in Hebron shooting


An Israeli soldier was shot and seriously wounded in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday, probably by Palestinian militants, police said.

"An Israeli soldier was seriously wounded by shots (fired) at him, probably by terrorists," spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

The incident took place close to the volatile Cave of the Patriarchs, which is considered holy to both Jews and Muslims, she told AFP.

She said he was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem for treatment, while police and troops combed the area for the shooter.

An AFP correspondent said the wounded soldier was rushed to Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek hospital, although a spokeswoman refused to comment on his condition.

Troops locked down Hebron with roadblocks in the hunt for the gunman, eyewitnesses said, noting that the soldiers had fanned out through the Israeli-controlled H2 sector.

Shortly before the shooting, witnesses said there were clashes in the city centre between stone-throwers and Israeli forces, with one Palestinian wounded by rubber bullets.

Hebron was packed with thousands of Israeli visitors on Sunday, many of whom had made the trip as part of the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

The shooting came a day after Israeli troops found the body of another soldier near the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya.

The soldier had been lured to a village in the West Bank on Friday morning and killed by a Palestinian man with whom he had worked in the seaside town of Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.

He was buried on Sunday in a military cemetery in the town of Holon.