Middle East Media Center Staff – 2004-05-14 09:21:02
(May 13, 2004) — Palestinains sources reported that Israeli Apache fired missiles at a crowed of Palestinians in Bloc “O” in Rafah south of Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses reported that the air strike killed three Palestinains and injured around 17 among them women and children and some in seroius conditins as four missiles were fired at a residential area.
IMEMC correspondant said, the army is still in the area and troops are closing the area and have already destroyed several houses.
Palestinians and Soldiers Killed in Rafah
Seven Palestinians were killed in an Israeli Air Strike in Yebna refugee camp near Rafah city south of Gaza Strip in the early hours of Thursday morning.
This attack came hours after Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, detonated a 100 Kg bomb under an Israeli Armored Personnel Carrier killing four Israeli soldiers and one officer.
At the same time, the Israeli forces withdrew from Al-Zaytoon neighborhood that witnessed sever Israeli attacks in the past 48 hours in which 14 Palestinians and 6 Israeli soldiers were killed. The Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli shooting and shelling at the residential area from the Apache Helicopters and infantry.
The six Israeli soldiers were killed when Al-Qassam Brigades detonated a 50 Kg explosive charge under their APC that invaded the area Tuesday morning. Some of the remains of the soldiers were taken by the militant groups.
Palestinian sources reported Wednesday afternoon that resistance groups in Gaza city agreed to the Egyptian and Palestinian Authority requests to return soldiers body parts in exchange to an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza city.
According to official Palestinian source, both Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s military wing and Al-Quds brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing responded positively to the Palestinian authority request.
After confirming that army will stay in Gaza city until all soldiers’ body parts are retained, army source said that troops will stay until Wednesday night.
Egypt started diplomatic efforts to diffuse the escalating situation in Gaza city.
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman instructed Wednesday Egyptian diplomats to invest efforts to end the standoff in Gaza City.
As diplomatic efforts continued, army continued operating in Gaza city. In addition to home to home searches, army helicopter gunship fired for the third time missiles killing three more residents.
Helicopter Fires at Group Outside Mosque
Local source reported that a chopper fired a missile at a group of people outside a mosque in Gaza City, killing three and wounding eleven. Hospital sources reported that among the wounded were a woman and two girls.
But, Army claimed firing at a group of armed resistance operatives who were planting explosives.
Meanwhile, soldier continued to blast into a building after building, searching for the remains of killed soldiers. This raises the death toll in Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli military operation in the Strip to 32 and over 200 have been injured in the past 48 hours.