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Israel Kills 3, Ends Raid in Gaza

From Associated Press

Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip before withdrawing Saturday night, witnesses and hospital officials said.

In all, 11 Palestinians, including at least seven militants, were killed and 31 wounded in the two-day raid.

Palestinian medical authorities said that on Saturday two militants were killed by Israeli tank fire in separate incidents and a third man was shot in the head. It was unclear whether he was a militant.

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The incursion, aimed at stopping Palestinian mortar and rocket fire on military outposts and Jewish settlements in Gaza, was the largest such military operation since Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death Nov. 11.

Palestinian mortar barrages last week killed a Thai worker in a Jewish settlement and injured 17 people, including 11 soldiers.

On Saturday, Palestinian militants launched a homemade rocket from northern Gaza into Israel, causing no injuries or damage, the army said.

In the West Bank, the Islamic militant group Hamas marked its 17th anniversary with a march through Nablus by thousands of supporters, some carrying flags and pictures of Hamas leaders killed in fighting with Israel.

Dozens of gunmen and several hundred Hamas members in military fatigues burned a life-sized cardboard replica of an Israeli tank as the crowd cheered.

“Hamas will continue to resist with arms until Palestine is liberated from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea,” said Hamas spokesman Ahmad Hajj Ali. He added that Hamas would not yield to demands by the Palestinian leadership to stop attacks against Israel.

“We warn anyone who tries to disarm the resistance movements because Israel only understands the language of war,” he said.


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