At least 13 Palestinians were killed Friday in Israeli raids in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Nine of the fatalities occurred in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun, where Israeli occupation troops have been operating since Wednesday morning.
Israeli troops exchanged fire early Friday with Palestinian fighters holed up in a mosque in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun, during which the roof of the mosque collapsed, Israeli military sources said. Palestinian sources said most of the fighters managed to escape unharmed.
Palestinian witnesses said Israeli bulldozers demolished a wall of the mosque, where 15 Palestinian fighters had fled. Three protestors, including a woman, were shot dead and another 25 people wounded ahead of the rescue attempt to free the Palestinian fighters holed up in the mosque, witnesses said.
Some 200 women marched on and entered the mosque to collect the fighters, before walking out, shielding them and protecting them from Israeli gunfire. A doctor said one woman and two men died, and a second woman was left clinically dead from Israeli gunfire at demonstrations before the rescue bid.
Also Friday, an Israeli air strike killed four members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sajaiya. A fifth Hamas member was shot dead in Beit Hanun.
Later in the day, an Israeli air strike around the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya killed three Palestinians and wounded several more, Palestinian security officials said.
Late on Friday, an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah wounded four members of a Palestinian police force headed by Hamas, a source in Hamas told Reuters. The source said the four were inside a jeep at the time of the strike.
In the Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus, occupation troops killed Ibrahim Sanakra, brother of Alaa Sanakra, Nablus leader of the Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Also in the West Bank, Israeli troops abducted the Palestinian public works and housing minister.
Gaza hospital officials said early Friday that a four-year-old boy had died of wounds sustained Thursday by Israeli shelling. The boy's death brings to eight the Palestinian death toll Thursday. Eight Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were also killed Wednesday.
In a separate incident, Palestinian witnesses and medical officials said an air strike east of the neighboring northern town of Jabalya had critically wounded two Palestinians.
Two Palestinians were killed late Thursday in an Israeli air strike just outside Beit Hanun.