Saturday, March 27, 2010
Israeli tanks enter Gaza
Sydney Morning Herald
March 27, 2010 - 9:54PM
Israeli tanks entered the Gaza Strip on Friday night, following the killing by militants of two Israeli soldiers, sparking a clash in which a Palestinian was killed.
At least seven Palestinians were killed in the clash, which comes amid the worst spate of violence in the besieged coastal territory in 14 months.
The Palestinian medics said the death and injuries were caused by a tank shell but gave no further details.
The tanks, backed by helicopters, advanced briefly into the Khan Yunis section in the south of the Gaza Strip before retreating to Israeli territory, witnesses said.
The incursion followed a fierce clash on Friday on the border between the Gaza Strip and the Jewish state in which two Israeli soldiers, one an officer, and four Palestinians were killed, according to the Israeli army.
"An officer and a soldier were killed and two others slightly wounded in an exchange of fire with terrorists planting explosives along the security fence in southern Gaza," an army spokesman said in a statement.
General Yoav Golan, the army's commander for the southern region, said one of the Israelis died when his own grenade exploded and that a total of four Palestinians were killed.
Palestinian officials have not confirmed the toll.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza, has claimed responsibility for the killing of the two soldiers in the heaviest fighting in the territory since the end of the 2008-09 Gaza war.