Palestinian medical sources confirmed on Sunday that Samir Hijazi, a 38-year-old physician, and 18-year-old Abd Allah al-Rahawi died from wounds sustained when Israeli tanks stormed the Rafah refugee camp, firing volleys of shells and automatic gunfire.

Hijazi was shot as he passed by a petrol station close to his home. Medics who evacuated him recognised him as being a local doctor, hospital officials said.

Five others were also hurt in the assault, including two women.

But Israeli forces said they had only fired on people they suspected were crawling towards a road patrolled by the army inside an "off-limits" area near occupied Gaza's border with Egypt.

"The forces fired at them and identified three hits," a military source said.

Hijazi's death brings the toll since the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada to 3555 Palestinians. Some 961 Israelis have died in the same period.