Israeli forces resume raid on Rafah as Palestinian shot dead in West Bank
Dozens of Israeli tanks entered the Rafah refugee camp before dawn Tuesday, just days after another raid into this city left eight dead and hundreds homeless.
Israeli military sources said Tuesday's operation in the Rafah refugee camp was a continuation of a three-day mission that started Friday, aimed at clearing away tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle weapons from Egypt.
Palestinian witnesses said two columns of armored vehicles entered the Rafah camp from two directions before 4 a.m., heading for a different section of the camp from the one targeted earlier. At least six Palestinians were injured in the first hours of the operation, Palestinian hospital sources said.
The first raid, the biggest in the Gaza Strip in six months, was accompanied by heavy fighting between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters. Eight Palestinians, including two children, were killed, and dozens were wounded.
U.N. officials reported that more than 1,200 Palestinians were left homeless after the first raid.
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency said 120 houses were demolished and another 117 buildings were damaged during the Israeli operation. Municipal officials said water and sewage treatment systems in the camp's Yabena neighborhood were destroyed as well.
The agency will give $500 to each displaced family, The AP reported. More than 7,500 Palestinians in Rafah, and nearly 12,000 in all of Gaza Strip, have been left homeless since the Israeli-Palestinian violence began three years ago, the agency said.
Elsewhere, Israeli troops killed an unarmed Palestinian civilian near the West Bank settlement of Negohot, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday. Late last month, an Islamic Jihad member infiltrated Negohot and shot to death two Israelis. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)