4 Palestinians and Israeli killed in shootings
GAZA: Four Palestinians and an Israeli were shot dead in separate incidents of an upsurge of violence in Gaza and the West Bank on Wednesday, military sources and witnesses said.
Three Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid on a southern Gaza Strip refugee camp. A fourth Palestinian was shot trying to scale a border fence out of Gaza and an Israeli man was killed by a gunman in the West Bank.
Israeli soldiers opened fire in several instances at gunmen during a military raid in Khan Younis refugee camp launched in an effort to stop mortar attacks on nearby Jewish settlements, a military spokesman said.
Medics and witnesses said three gunmen were killed.
Dozens of Palestinian families fled their homes before armoured bulldozers arrived. The raid into Khan Younis followed one last week the army said was intended to destroy mortar launch sites in which 11 Palestinians were killed.
“I cannot estimate how much longer we will have to stay there but we are doing our utmost not to harm the civilians in the area,” Colonel Yoav Mordechai told Reuters.
Israel had cut back on military operations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip following Arafat’s death, in an apparent bid to bolster a new, more moderate Palestinian leadership before a Jan. 9 election to choose his successor.
But militants have vowed no let-up in their attacks on Jewish enclaves in Gaza as Israel presses ahead with a plan to remove all 21 settlements in the coastal strip and four of 120 in the West Bank in 2005.
Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian who tried to scale the border fence out of the northern Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian gunman killed an Israeli man west of the city of Hebron, military sources said. Israeli media described the victim as a security guard.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group linked to the mainstream Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the slaying. agenciess