The latest Israeli military action in the occupied Gaza Strip on Saturday afternoon claimed the lives of two Palestinian civilians, medics and witnesses said.

Witnesses said the two were killed by Israeli tank fire, but the Israeli army said resistance fighters had launched an anti-tank missile at its troops which missed and hit a house instead, killing the two Palestinians. 

Earlier, a member of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas was killed by an Israeli missile in a refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the Palestinian movement said.

 

Abd al-Rauf Nabhan, 25, was struck by a missile fired from an Israeli helicopter gunship into the Jabalya refugee camp as he tried to launch a Qassam rocket into the town of Sderot across the Gazan border.

The Palestinian witnesses said the Israeli tank had fired directly at the house, which belonged to the family of a dead Hamas resistance fighter. They said four more Palestinians were wounded. 

Bait Hanun casualties

The densely populated strip of land is the focus of a massive Israeli military offensive launched 11 days ago, codenamed Days of Penitence.

Israeli bulldozers have been
destroying homes in Jabalya

Wail Dahduh, Aljazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said the atmosphere in the Gaza Strip was still tense.

He said the Israeli military operation was ongoing and that two resistance fighters were killed by heavily armed Israeli forces.

 

Dahduh also reported damage was done to the Palestinian infrastructure as the Israeli army used side roads to avoid booby traps.

 

Death toll surges

 

Also on Saturday, two Palestinians were killed and one critically injured when an Israeli tank fired missiles into a residential area of Shaikh Zaid in Bait Lahya, northern Gaza.

 

According to Aljazeera.net's Gaza correspondent, Laila El-Haddad, the Palestinian death toll in Gaza reached 113, including 100 killed during the 11-day Israeli military offensive in the northern region of the strip.

 

The United Nations and the Palestinian Ministry of Health had reported a death toll of 101 killed, including 88 in northern Gaza, as of Friday morning.