Tank-armed Israeli troops carry out incursion in central Gaza

By Zakaria Al-Tilmis, KUNA

Gaza : Israeli Army troops advanced toward eastern fringes of Al-Buraij refugee camp in the center of Gaza Strip under cover of a hail of gunfire on Friday, witnesses said.

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The witnesses told KUNA the assaulting forces, equipped with tanks, military vehicles and bulldozers, came in at high speed from a nearby military outpost, and immediately began searching houses and properties.

The forces got embroiled in armed clashes with Palestinian fighters from various factions, they said.

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, said in a statement its fighters hit an Israeli tank with a rocket propelled grenade near the shanty town.

Late on Thursday, Israeli trops withdrew from Wadi Al-Salqa in the central region of the strip after operating there for several hours, detaining scores of suspected militants.

Another group, Al-Nasser Salah-Eddine of the Popular Resistance Committee, said its fighters took part in the resistance of the Israeli troops that carried out the incursion near Al-Buraij camp. The advancing forces were targeted with mortar shells, it said.

Israel declared, on Thursday, cutting off all contacts with the Palestinian organizations via Egypt to reach a sustainable truce and warned to launch wide-scale offensives on the strip.

The Tel Aviv cabinet held a session debating means of retaliating for an attack on Nahal Oz passageway on Wednesday, where two Israeli soldiers were killed.

The cabinet decided to cancel a scheduled visit by an envoy to Egypt for pursuing the truce efforts.