Israeli attacks claims 5 lives

2012-11-11 08:04
BORDER CONTROL: An Egyptian soldier guards the Egyptian side of the border where Egypt has started installing a barrier meant to stop smuggling goods and weapons to Gaza, as seen from Rafah. (Hatem Moussa, AP Photo)

BORDER CONTROL: An Egyptian soldier guards the Egyptian side of the border where Egypt has started installing a barrier meant to stop smuggling goods and weapons to Gaza, as seen from Rafah. (Hatem Moussa, AP Photo) (Hatem Moussa)

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Gaza City - Five Palestinians have been killed and 30 injured by Israeli shelling after militants fired on an Israeli jeep, wounding four soldiers, sources said on one of the deadliest days of fighting for years.

The flare-up on Saturday was one of the most serious clashes in a single day since Israel's devastating 22-day operation in the Gaza Strip over New Year 2009.

A Palestinian militant was killed and two other people wounded in an Israeli air strike on northern Gaza just before midnight, medical sources and witnesses said.

The dead man was named as Mohammed Shwikani, a 20-year-old militant with the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the group said.

The Israeli army launched a series of six air raids to the north and east of Gaza City, which left two more people injured, Palestinian witnesses and medical sources said.

Raids

The army said in a statement that the raids had targeted arms dumps and an arms factory "in response to recent events".

It was just the latest in a spate of attacks and counter-attacks between the army and Palestinian militants.

Earlier on Saturday, violence flared along the border east of Gaza City when militants fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep, wounding four soldiers.

In response, Israel fired a barrage of artillery fire and shells, killing three people and wounding 25, five of them seriously, medical officials and witnesses said.

One of the injured died later in hospital.

A spokesperson for Gaza's Hamas government said the four killed were aged between 15 and 20.

Civilians

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Hamas-run health ministry said some of the injured were in "serious to critical condition", adding the dead and the wounded appeared to be civilians.

Witnesses said the shooting took place after an anti-tank missile slammed into the Israeli jeep near the Karni crossing east of Gaza City, in an attack claimed by the armed wing of the left-leaning Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The Israeli army confirmed that four soldiers had been wounded by an anti-tank missile.

Military sources said two of the soldiers were in serious condition.

Medics also said five Palestinians were wounded in another instance of Israeli shelling near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

The Israeli military said armed groups fired 25 rockets at southern Israel in a matter of hours on Saturday.

Read more on:    hamas  |  israel  |  middle east peace

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