At least seven Palestinians killed in Gaza Strip and West Bank; Israeli incursions in Hebron, Dir al Balah
At least seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in several incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the course of Thursday morning.
Israeli troops killed four Palestinians trying to infiltrate the Gaza Strip settlement of Kfar Darom in the early hours of Thursday morning. Israel said the four were armed.
Israeli soldiers opened fire on the four, who managed to return fire before being killed, Israel Radio reported. A few hours later, a Palestinian policeman was killed during an Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip village of Dir el Balah.
Israeli troops killed a Force 17 member and wounded four Palestinian policemen early Thursday in the West Bank village of Beit Kakhil northwest of Hebron, Palestinian sources said. However, the Israeli military's spokesman said that five Palestinian policemen were killed.
The incident occurred while an Israeli unit was arresting senior Fatah member, Muatez Aymouni. The Israeli military spokesman reported that the five policemen "had opened fire on the troops from a passing car," and that all five had been killed when the soldiers returned fire.
Early Thursday, a Palestinian approached an Israeli roadblock close to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Jerusalem in a car, blowing it up as he tried to escape on foot, the Israeli military said. Soldiers shot and killed him.
Also early Thursday, Israeli tanks briefly entered the West Bank city of Hebron. According to witnesses, at least four Palestinians were wounded and one was killed.
Palestinian witnesses said about 10 tanks and 10 armored vehicles briefly entered the city on Thursday. They added Israeli forces fired machine guns in all directions. Ahmed Bashir, a member of the Force 17, an elite Palestinian security unit, was killed.
Israel Radio reported that an elite unit operated overnight in the West Bank town of Hebron, in a bid to trap a senior wanted activist, but that the man appeared to have escaped. Four Palestinians were arrested in this raid.
Two Palestinian gunmen who were wounded Wednesday during a gunfight near Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, died of their wounds, an Israeli army source said.
The two men were identified as Raed El-Khatib, a member of the Palestinian national security service, and Isaam Jawubra, 20, a member of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades. One Israeli soldier was also wounded in the gunfight, the Israeli military said. The gun battle was the second in two days around the church. (Albawaba.com)
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