Israeli army kills seven militants in Gaza

By Xinhua

Gaza : Several Israeli army tanks and armoured vehicles were pulled out from central Gaza Strip after killing seven Palestinian militants and wounding nine, including two cameramen, witnesses said.

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Palestinian residents said more than 10 tanks, bulldozers and armoured vehicles were rolled into an area, east of al-Mughazi refugee camp in central Gaza strip, amid intensive gunfire Thursday.

The witnesses said heavy armed clashes broke out in the area between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, who are members of several Gaza armed groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad (Holy War).

Mo’aweya Hassanein, chief of emergency in the Palestinian ministry of health said seven Palestinians were killed and nine wounded, including two cameramen.

Armed groups’ sources said four of the dead are members of Islamic Jihad, two from Hamas, and one from the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).

The operation lasted for nearly 18 hours in the area, where an Israeli army spokesman told Israel Radio that the operation was limited and part of the military routine to restraint militants from firing rockets at Israel.

The spokesman said five Israeli soldiers were injured and evacuated for treatment in Israeli hospitals.

During the operation, several militant groups have claimed responsibility for launching the homemade rockets and mortar shells at Israeli positions.