The Israeli occupation forces on Thursday attacked al-Shoauth and al-Barahma neighbourhoods, in south Gaza, correspondent Sameer Abu Shammalah said.

 

An Israeli helicopter had earlier fired at least two missiles at two different targets, one in the al-Shoauth neighbourhood and the other a Palestinian house in al-Sultan neighbourhood west of the Rafah camp.

 

The Israeli military operation in Rafah is continuing, the correspondent said.

 

Heavy gunfire

 

Home demolitions are leaving
many Palestinians destitute

Israeli forces fired missiles and opened heavy gunfire at the two neighbourhoods in an attempt to force Palestinian families out of their homes, he said.  

 

However, some families preferred to remain in their houses, despite the attack, he added. 

 

The Israeli army has been targeting al-Shoauth neighbourhood for around four days, saying it wants to prevent Palestinians from targeting Israeli military vehicles, look for tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle arms from Egypt, and to demolish the infrastructure of resistance fighters, thecorrespondent said. 

 

"Citizens of these areas have been calling on international organisations to rescue them," he said.

 

The United Nations' agency for Palestinian refugees has said that nearly 1500 houses have been destroyed in the Rafah region since the September 2000 start of the Palestinian uprising.