Israeli soldiers wounded by tank fire

Five Israeli soldiers have been hit by fire from their own side during an exchange with a Palestinian gunman near a Jewish settlement in the southern Gaza Strip, Israel Radio said.

    Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian exchanged fire in the Gaza Strip

    The radio said a gunman opened fire on Sunday on the settlement and soldiers returned fire. A tank shot at a building where the gunman was concealed, hitting him with one shell and wounding the soldiers in an armoured vehicle nearby.

    There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military or the Palestinian Authority.

    Tension is high around the Gaza settlements ahead of forced evacuations from the occupied territory, due to start on Wednesday.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has urged resistance groups to hold fire during Israel's planned removal of its first Jewish settlements from land Palestinians seek for an independent state.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed a harsh response to any Palestinian violence that erupts once the withdrawal begins from the Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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