Israelis kill 8 Palestinians in Gaza

Published October 13, 2006

GAZA CITY, Oct 12: Eight Palestinians, including a teenage boy and three Hamas militants, were killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip on Thursday as troops mounted a fresh incursion as part of a four-month offensive.

The violence came as an armed group linked to President Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party rescued a US student abducted by rival militants in the West Bank.

Five of those killed in the southern Gaza Strip belonged to the same family — bystanders 13-year-old Suheib Iqdah, his 40-year-old father Adel and three militants from the armed wing of the ruling Hamas party.

They died after an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a group of people in Abassan.

Another 15 Palestinians were wounded, including people brought in overnight during exchanges of fire with Israeli ground troops who pushed into the territory a short distance across the border. One of the wounded later died.

The Israeli military confirmed the air strike and the launch of a ground operation targeting ‘tunnels and other terror infrastructure’ in the Khan Yunis area, saying its troops were periodically coming under fire.

“During that operation overnight there were several occasions in which gunmen opened fire on the forces. The forces returned fire and in all identified hitting six gunmen,” a spokesman said. “Other than that, there was an air force attack on a group of four armed gunmen who were identified approaching the forces and we identified hitting those gunmen,” the spokesman added.—AFP

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