At least six Palestinians were injured Thursday when Israeli missiles slammed into Palestinian security targets in Gaza Strip, Palestine TV Channel reported.
Sources said a surface-to-surface missile flew through the air towards an area in the southern section of Gaza City, hitting a compound of Palestinian police, known as Saraya.
Five surrounding homes were also damaged, said the Palestinian TV.
Palestinian security sources said missiles hit the cluster of offices used by Palestinian security agencies in the city. This is the second time the buiding is hit by Israeli forces.
The Israeli army declined immediate comment on the attack, said Reuters but reports said the attack was launched in retaliation for an attack hours earlier when two Romanian workers were killed in a bomb explosion in Gaza, and a day after suspected Palestinian assailants killed two Jewish settlers near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
But the Israeli radio said the attack was authorized by the Israeli defense minister Binyamin bin Eliezer.
Reports said that dozens of people were treated in hospitals from shock.
Meanwhile, the town of Rafah in the strip was shelled by Israeli tanks, reported the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Ten were injured in the attack, while three security people were hurt in a simultaneous raid on Qarara, near Khan Younis.
Within the same context, Al Jazeera satellite channel correspondent in Gaza reported that an Israeli soldier was wounded by a Palestinian sniper's fire near the borders with Egypt.
He added that Fateh's dismantled Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the attack.
AT LEAST SEVEN PALESTINIANS INJURED IN GUNBATTLE AS ISRAELI TROOPS DESTROY PA BUILDINGS IN GAZA
At least seven Palestinians were wounded in a gunbattle earlier in the day when Israeli soldiers bulldozed PA buildings in a refugee camp near the Gaza-Egypt border, said reports.
Palestinian Public Security chief in Gaza, Major General Abdel-Razek Al Majaydeh, said at least three houses and two Palestinian police posts were destroyed by Israeli bulldozers protected by armored vehicles in Yebna refugee camp close to the Egyptian border, according to Reuters.
The Israeli army said its troops destroyed a Palestinian police post and other buildings adjacent to an Israeli-controlled road from which, it charged, Palestinians had thrown hand grenades, explosive devices and anti-tank grenades, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper said.
Majaydeh said the troops had entered Palestinian-controlled territory, but the Israeli army said the area was under Israeli control according to interim peace agreements between the two sides.
At least six Palestinians were injured in the fighting, one critically, and an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded, hospital and security sources told the agency.
The Israeli army said Palestinians fired anti-tank grenades during the battle.
Also overnight Wednesday, four anti-tank grenades were reportedly fired at Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Gush Katif in Gaza, said Haaretz.
Shots were also fired at troops near the Ganei Tal settlement in Gaza and at an Israeli army base east of Bethlehem in the West Bank.
The Palestinians said the Israelis entered areas under their control in the Ramallah area overnight, but the Israeli army denied the report.
MOFAZ ADMITS EXCESSIVE FORCE IN PALESTINIAN BABY'S DEATH
Israel’s Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday told a group of Israeli officers in Gaza that last week's Israeli response to mortar fire with tank shells had been excessive, referring to the resulting death of a four-month-old baby, Iman Hijo, who was killed in the Khan Yunis refugee camp, said Haaretz.
On a routine swing through command posts hosted by Southern Command Maj. Gen. Doron Almog and Brig. Gen. Yair Naveh, Mofaz met units posted along the southern border with the Palestinian Authority. He spoke with the tank regiment that fired shells at PA targets in response to a mortar attack on Israeli settlements, the paper said.
Mofaz addressed the rules of engagement under which the tank regiment operated.
According to the paper, it became apparent that the Israeli army’s standing order is for any mortar attack on Israeli positions to be answered with tank shelling of pre-selected Palestinian positions; pre-selected because they have been identified as the origin of the Palestinian fire.
“Mofaz did not criticize the regiment directly but made it clear that in the context of what happened, the response was exaggerated,” the paper quoted him as saying.
ISRAEL DEFENDS SETTLEMENT FUNDING
Israeli Finance Minister Silvan Shalom defended on Wednesday a plan to allocate additional sums to settlements that has angered Palestinians and drawn a rebuke from the United States, said Reuters.
Shalom told Israeli television during an official US visit that the plan was not finalized and had been misunderstood.
"When it is released it will show that it comes to answer real needs that came about in the last six months," he said, referring to expenses for security, health and education.
Some 200,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, home to three million Palestinians.
Settlements built on occupied land are illegal under international law. Their status is to be determined in a final peace treaty – Albawaba.com
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