Gaza Strip: At least eight Hamas members killed by Israeli fire
Israeli forces and armour crossed into the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least eight Hamas fighters in clashes, Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said.
Two Israeli soldiers were wounded as Hamas gunners fired rocket-propelled grenades at an army vehicle during the clashes.
Palestinian medics said 13 people, including children, were wounded. A Hamas cameraman who was injured by what witnesses said was a tank shell was seen later being shot in the legs from afar as he lay on the ground.
Palestinian sources said that in one incident three Hamas gunmen died in Gaza's al-Maghazi refugee camp. Two other gunmen were injured in this incident, medics said, according to Reuters.
The Israeli army said its forces were on a routine activity east of the Bureij refugee camp, about one kilometer from the Israel-Gaza Strip border, when it identified armed fighters and fired at them from the air and from troops on the ground.
On his part, Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida said the fighters discovered an undercover Israeli unit and opened fire. Dr. Moaiya Hassanain, a Palestinian Health Ministry official in Gaza, said occupation troops stopped a Palestinian ambulance dispatched to the scene, detaining its driver and a nurse.
Later Thursday, an Israeli aircraft launched missiles at Hamas targets in the area, military sources said. Hospital officials said two Hamas members were killed and two others were wounded.
The Hamas identified the victims as as Mohammed Siyam, 35, a local field leader, Mohammed Naif al-Uwidat, 23, Ahmed Suliman al-Krinaoui, 20, Ahmed Abu Jalad, 20, Muhammed Abu Arqud, 23, Muhammed Musa Mansoor, 22 and Mahmoud Nur, 22. Hamas TV said that the 37-year-old Siam was the group's field commander in central Gaza.