Israeli occupation troops, backed by armour, invaded the northern West Bank region of Tulkarim early on Monday, killing at least two Palestinians and destroying a number of houses.

Local sources told Aljazeera.net that as many as 40 Israeli military vehicles, backed by helicopter gunships, raided the villages of Allar and Saida as well as the Tulkarim refugee camp amid intensive firing and sounds of explosions.

The invading forces reportedly raided and badly ravaged a local charity which the Israelis claim is associated with a resistance group.

Locals told Aljazeera television that Israeli troops imposed a strict curfew on the village and were barring ambulances and paramedics from reaching the wounded.

The latest incident, in which grenades were flung, took place in Saida, north of Tulkarim.

Two Palestinians, Sahir Ajash and Basil Abu Shab, both in their late twenties, died in the attack. 

According to witnesses, a grenade was thrown on to a porch where Abu Shab was sleeping. The explosion ripped apart his body. Another unexploded grenade was found on the porch.

Ajash apparently fled but was later found dead with bullet wounds to the head, witnesses said.

Residents reported that the Israeli soldiers invaded the village in a number of military vehicles and a bulldozer and  demolished part of house in the area where the men's bodies were found.

Other incidents

In another incident, two Palestinians, including a child, were killed by Israeli occupation troops in the southern Gaza Strip. 

Four-year-old Samar Fujo died early on Monday morning of wounds she sustained 10 days ago after being shot in the head by Israeli snipers in the Zurub quarter of the Rafah refugee camp, medical sources said.

Another unidentified Palestinian was also killed when Israeli forces opened fire at a civilian in the same area of the refugee camp, Palestinian security sources said.

Israeli soldiers will continue until they are "completely convinced that Qassam rockets are no longer being fired towards Israel and that such incidents will not recur in the future"

Israeli military official

Elsewhere in Gaza late on Sunday night, Israeli helicopter gunships fired several missiles at an agricultural college in Bait Hanun, leading to structural damage, but no injuries. 

Israeli bulldozers also razed several square kilometres of civilian farm land, including greenhouses and a chicken farm belonging to Muhammad Zaanin.

The northern Gaza Strip village of 30,000 people has been under siege since 30 June, when Israeli forces launched an incursion with the stated aim of creating a security zone after Qassam rockets fired into the Negev town of Sderot by Palestinian resistance fighters claimed their first fatalities.

Since that date, 14 Palestinians have been killed and more than 90 injured and about 2600 sq km of agricultural land cleared.

An Israeli military spokesperson has said the siege has been imposed in self-defence and will continue until they are "completely convinced that Qassam rockets are no longer being fired towards Israel and that such incidents will not recur in the future".

Civilian shot 10 times

On Sunday, Palestinian mourners carried the body of Yasir Tantawi during his funeral at the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus. Tantawi, 21, was killed in cold blood on Saturday by Israeli soldiers, witnesses told Aljazeera.net.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) said Israeli soldiers shot and killed Tantawi in the streets of Balata around 7pm on Saturday

Witnesses report that Tantawi was shot once in the leg and then a further nine times as he lay in the street unable to move.

A Swedish national and fifth-year medical student, named only as Henrik, volunteering with the Palestinian Medical Relief Societies, ran towards Tantawi after he had been shot once and shouted to the Israeli soldiers that he was an international medical volunteer, the ISM said.

Palestinians are constantly
targeted by Israeli snipers

The Israeli soldiers ignored his pleas and shot Tantawi nine more times at point-blank range, with wounds ranging from his chest to his legs. By the time the medical volunteers could reach him he was dead, said an ISM spokesperson.

The reasons behind why Israeli soldiers entered the Balata refugee camp remain unclear. Witnesses say the Israeli military left the same evening.

In an earlier incident on Friday evening, Bashar Zuraik, a 16-year-old also from Balata, was shot in the eye by a rubber-coated steel bullet and is currently being treated in Jerusalem.

In the past month, between 25 and 30 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military in Nablus alone.