Israeli army invades northern Gaza, kills two

By Xinhua

Gaza : Israeli forces killed two Palestinians early Wednesday during a ground operation in the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, paramedics said.

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The raiding forces, with more than 30 battle tanks and several bulldozers, also wounded three people in the al-Shaimaa neighbourhood in the agricultural border town, said ambulance spokesman Mua'wia Hassanin.

Hassanin added that the Israeli army prevented the Palestinian paramedics from reaching the site of the operation to recover the bodies of killed Palestinians and rescue the injured.

The raid inside the Palestinian territory started at dawn with tanks rolling into the farmlands amid heavy machine gun fire.

Residents said the bulldozers destroyed their fields and caused damage to the crops. The army also arrested a number of people.

In 2005, the Israeli army evacuated three settlements in the area as part of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip. When the settlers tried to return almost two years after the withdrawal, the army reportedly prevented them.

Militants from the Hamas movement, which rules Gaza Strip, and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) fighters said they were confronting the Israeli forces.