Palestinians: Death toll of Israeli raid on Rafah rises to six
Israeli troops on Thursday shot dead six Palestinians and wounded at least 15 during an invasion of al-Salam neighborhood in Rafah refugee camp, located in the south of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian hospital sources said.
Additionally, the troops demolished four houses and detained at least 11, including two women.
During the invasion, which was backed by helicopters, Israeli troops encircled two houses seeking Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists. Shots were exchanged, Palestinian security officials told AFP.
The dead were identified as 26-year-old Nasser Abu al-Naja, 18-year-old Saber Abu Lulu, 22-year-old Omar Abu Mohsen, the 23-year-old paramedic Mohammed Zino, and 55-year-old Eyad al Mahmoum, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. Medical sources in Rafah declared in the afternoon that 17-year old Salman Al Akhras died of his wounds sustained during the Israeli raid.
Most of those injured sustained serious wounds, the agency added. Three of the injured were children, one of them, 12, in critical condition.
Palestinians told AFP that the Israeli forces raided the Rafah refugee camp on the Gaza Strip-Egypt border before daybreak and surrounded a house. Israeli officials claimed the purpose of the incursion was to arrest a senior Islamic Jihad member, Khaled al Qadi, and there were exchanges of fire at the scene.
A day earlier, the Israeli Army invaded Rafah refugee camp and demolished a 3-storey house.
Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat condemned the raid. "The Israeli policy of settlement expansion, building the wall, assassination and all the unilateral steps lead to one thing: enlarging the circle of violence," he said.
In the West Bank, Israeli troops overnight Thursday arrested 11 Palestinians, including one woman. (Albawaba.com)