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18 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza12 killed including children in attack on mosque, houses

April 16, 2008 10:25 A.M. (Updated: April 16, 2008 10:25 A.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Thirteen Palestinians including at least two children were killed and 18 others wounded, some seriously, when Israeli tanks fired on a mosque and two houses in the town of Juhor Ad-Dik in the central Gaza Strip, late on Wednesday afternoon.

A total of 18 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip so far on Wednesday.

Muawiya Hassanain, the director of the ambulance and emergency department in the Palestinian Health Ministry, said that the nine of the dead and some of the wounded were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital. Women and children wre among the wounded.

Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, two Israeli airs raids claimed the life of a thirty-two-year-old man and wounded five others.

Local sources identified the victim of that strike as Hani Zu'rub. Witnesses said that Israeli warplanes fired on two cars in northern Gaza.

Hassanain said the first strike targeted a car in the town of Beit Lahiya, killing Zu'rub and injuring three. Two people were injured in the second strike all were evacuated to Al-Awda Hospital

On Wednesday morning Israeli forces invaded the Shuja'iyya neighborhood iof Gaza City for a short time, before withdrawing after killing four Palestinian activists affiliated to Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades.

Hamas announced that four of its fighters were killed in clashes with the invading Israeli forces. Palestinian medical sources named the victims as Abdul-Karim Al-Khaisi, Mustafa Tatar, Karam Al-Wadiyya and Mahmoud Hillis. Five other activists sustained were injured.

Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli incursion started with penetration of Israeli special forces under cover of helicopters and tanks. They started shooting randomly at Palestinian houses.

The Al-Qassam Brigades released a series of statements saying that their fighters launched more than 57 mortar shells at the invading Israeli forces as well as several rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). The statements also said that three anti-personnel landmines were detonated against Israeli troops.

Later on the Israeli army announced that one officer was wounded, but they gave no details about the nature of the wounds.

Eyewitnesses said that before they withdrew, the Israeli forces apprehended several Palestinians including Abdul-Salam Al-Hayya, brother of senior Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya.

On Tuesday evening, one Palestinian affiliated to Islamic Jihad's military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, was killed and three bystanders were injured as a result of a missile launched by an Israeli reconnaissance plane at a motorcycle in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The Al-Quds Brigades named the victim as Abdullah Al-Ghussain.

Two Palestinian civilians were injured in Israeli shelling at the area of Juhr Ad-Dik and the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

Israeli forces announced that one soldier was hurt in the clashes at Shuja'iyya.

***Updated at 17:16 Bethlehem time

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