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Hamas claims responsibility for car bombing near Kerem Shalom crossing

April 19, 2008 11:05 A.M. (Updated: April 19, 2008 11:05 A.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Six Israeli soldiers were injured when Palestinian fighters blew up a three cars near the Kerem Shalom crossing point in the Gaza Strip on Friday. Three Palestinians who carried out the operation were killed, Israeli sources said.

Abu Ubeida, the spokesperson for the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said that the Al-Qassam Brigades are responsible for the attack. He said the operation was a response to the poor living conditions imposed on the residents of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli blockade.

Abu Ubeida said that fighters used cars rigged with explosives. He said that clashes erupted between Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers at that time, and that the explosion was heard as far away as Gaza City.

He called the operation "a success for the Palestinian resistance" and a step towards breaking the siege of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli sources said that three Palestinian fighters stormed the crossing in an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers, provoking a fight with Israeli soldiers. The six wounded troops were taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment. Palestinian fighters also fired mortar rounds at the crossing.

Meanwhile, one Al-Qassam Brigades fighter was killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City's Ash-Shaja'yeh neighborhood.

Palestinian medics said that 21-year-old Ihab Abu 'Amr was killed in the Israeli bombardment. A number of other Palestinians were wounded in the attack, medics added.

The Al-Qassam Brigades reported that violent clashes are taking place with Israeli special forces in Ash-Shaja'yeh, and that Israeli tanks have entered the area.

The Brigades added in a statement that they shelled Israeli forces and the Nahal Oz with 45 mortar rounds and a number of rocket-propelled grenades.

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