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Middle East
Deaths in Israeli army raid on Gaza
Palestinian and Israeli soldier are killed during army operation in Khan Younis.
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2007 13:51 GMT
A Palestinian fighter and an Israeli soldier have been killed after Israeli army troops raided the southern Gaza Strip, officials have said.
 
Israeli troops shot dead Hazem Asfur, 21, of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, during the raid east of the town of Khan Younis on Wednesday, Palestinian medical sources said.
The Israeli soldier was critically injured in later exchanges of gunfire and was declared dead after being taken to a hospital, an Israeli army spokesman said.
 
Four Palestinians were also wounded in the incursion, nearly one kilometre inside Palestinian territory.
Houses raided
 
Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza reported that a number of Israeli military vehicles, backed by helicopters, raided Khan Younis' eastern Farahin district.
 
The vehicles raided the area amid intensive and indiscriminate gunfire at Palestinian citizens' houses, he reported.
 
Eyewitnesses told the correspondent that a group of Israeli special forces infiltrated the district before the raid and had occupied a number of civilians' houses, turning them into military bases.
 
An Israeli army spokeswoman said "terrorist threats and rocket-launching infrastructure" were the target of the raids.
 
Israeli troops shot several Palestinian fighters who had struck an Israeli armoured vehicle with an anti-tank rocket, she said.
 
Israel has tried with little success to stop frequent rocket fire from Gaza, which the Israeli government last month branded a "hostile territory".
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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