Some 25 Israeli tanks raided Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, locals said. Israeli Army sources told The AP the operation was aimed at clearing an area used by Palestinian fighters.
The troops moved out the area after few hours, leaving behind them heavy destruction.
In the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanoun, Israeli tanks rolled into the outskirts of the city.
On the diplomatic front, the 15-member Security Council held a debate on Monday's killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin by Israel after Arab ambassadors and the United States failed to agree on a statement criticizing Israel.
For its part, Israel accused the United Nations on Tuesday of "hypocrisy" for convening a debate over the assassination of the Hamas leader and not condemning Palestinian suicide bombings of its civilians.
"Not one resolution, not one presidential statement has been adopted by this Council to specifically denounce the deliberate massacre of our innocent civilians," Israel's UN ambassador Danny Gillerman said in a speech to the council.
He said the council was coming to the defense of "a godfather of terrorism...it is the ultimate hypocrisy."
On his part, the Palestinian observer to the United Nations, Nasser al-Kidwa, opened the debate by asking the council to condemn Monday's killing.
"We strongly condemn this new Israeli crime and hold the occupying power and the Israeli leadership legally and politically responsible for this crime and...the consequences that this crime entails," al-Kidwa said.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)