Iman Barhum was shot by Israeli occupation forces in late July with a direct hit to the head, according to Dr Ali Musa, director of the Abu Yusuf al-Najjar hospital in Rafah. Barhum was inside her home in the Rafah refugee camp at the time, said Musa.

Five other Palestinians, including two children, were also killed in separate incidents in the Gaza Strip and West Bank on Wednesday.

Fourteen-year-old Wail Abu al-Jadian was shot dead when Israeli snipers stationed in the northern Gaza Strip village of Bait Lahia opened fire on Palestinian houses.

His family said he was sitting at home and not outside.

Another child, 10-year-old Ali Abu-Ulba, was initially injured when Israeli helicopter gunships fired at a group of Palestinians in the town of Jabalya

The Israeli army claimed it was trying to stop a Qassam rocket from being launched, but witnesses say the troops fired at a group of demonstrators.

Several others were injured in the helicopter attack, including two children who are said to be in critical condition.

According to Palestinian medical sources at Kamal Udwan hospital, both children were shot in the chest.

Palestinian civilians killed

Meanwhile, near the village of Bait Hanun, Jassim al-Mutawwaq, 18, was injured by Israeli fire coming from the outskirts of the town of Jabalya. 

He later succumbed to his wounds, hospital sources said. Witnesses say the troops were firing haphazardly at residents.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, a
29-year-old Palestinian was also shot dead by Israeli troops stationed on top of a downtown building.

Palestinian sources said the man ran a kiosk. Israeli army sources denied they killed him and alleged it was Palestinian gunfire that caused his death.

 

Three other Nablus residents were injured in the incident.

Siege widens

The latest killings occurred as Israeli occupation forces began an expansion of an earlier offensive into - and siege of - the northern Gaza Strip. 

 

The decision to broaden the siege was made on Monday by Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz after members of the Israeli intelligence community admitted the siege of Bait Hanun had failed to halt the launching of Qassam rockets.


Israeli occupation troops have
increased attacks in Bait Hanun

Home to 30,000 residents, Bait Hanun has been under siege for more than a month now, after Qassam rockets fired into the town of Sderot claimed the first fatalities.


Despite the Israeli onslaught on the village and persistent search-and-destroy missions, Palestinian resistance fighters managed to launch about 40 Qassam rockets during the past month.

According to the Israeli press, Mofaz has announced he is giving the Israel army "a free hand" to deal with the rocket threat.

Rafah raid continues

Elsewhere in Gaza, witnesses told Aljazeera.net snipers riding atop tanks shot dead 20-year-old Jihad al-Bus and injured five others. All were unarmed. 

 

A Reuters television cameraman
was injured by Israeli fire

Palestinian medical sources in Rafah's al-Najjar hospital have confirmed that al-Bus sustained a bullet wound to the head.

Several Palestinians were also killed and injured in an Israeli Apache helicopter attack on Tuesday, which left three Palestinians killed and 17 others injured, including a Reuters cameraman. 

 

Backed by tanks and bulldozers, the helicopters fired three missiles at a residential quarter of the camp in an early morning raid.  

 

Six houses and several hectares of land were razed.

 

The Israeli army claimed a Palestinian bomb detonating prematurely was to blame.