Israeli sources reportedly said that two Israeli settlers were injured in an ambush on a settler’s bus on its way on a major highway through the West Bank, Israel calls trans-Samaria on Tuesday morning.

The source said the settlers were lightly wounded as the gunmen opened fire at the bus near the settlement of Barkan.

The bus driver managed to drive the bus to the near checkpoint of Oranit where the wounded received treatment as the Red David Star ambulances arrived at the scene.

Army sources claimed the police found some four Kalashnikov magazines and ruminants of an explosive device. The police estimates that an explosive charge went of before the gunmen open fire at the bus, the source said.

None of the Palestinian resistance groups claimed responsibility for the attack.

Local observers said the resistance will likely shift from targeting Israelis inside Israel to attack settlers in the West Bank especially with the current plans to expand some West Bank settlements, like Ariel and Ma’aleh Adomim.

Against an Israeli-American understanding, Israel called for tenders to expand several Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

According to the Yesha Council of settlements, the tenders are for units in Betar Ilit, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Geva Binyamin, Ma’aleh Adumim and Karnei Shomron settlements.

However, it is under American pressure, believed the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon instructed the Housing Ministry to temporarily halt and reexamine tenders for the construction of over 1000 housing units in the Palestinian territories.

Sharon heard serious U.S. administrations criticisms over Israel’s violations to obligations made by the Prime Minister directly to President George Bush.

An Israeli government source said Sunday that the housing ministry will reexamine the plans based on the Israeli-American understanding under which settlement construction will be limited to currently built-up areas.

The Yesha council accused Sharon of leaning to American pressure and attempting to impose a freeze on all settlement construction.

A government source denied the council accusations, confirming that the tenders would be published in the next few days, once reexamination is finished.

Palestinian official source called Sunday the government of Israel to “set an end to such cunning internal bargaining” and “immediately freeze construction in settlements in compliance with the road map terms”.

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