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Central Gaza clashes: Israeli ground forces raid Deir Al-Balah

Aug. 20, 2009 10:23 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2009 10:56 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli ground forces breached Gaza's borders and penetrated into the outskirts of the coastal city of Deir Al-Balah on Thursday morning, clashing with local resistance forces.

If correct, reports that Israeli troops entered at least a kilometer or more into the Gaza Strip would mark the deepest incursion since Israel withdrew after a major three-week offensive last January.

Deir Al-Balah residents said they heard explosions in the area. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Israeli military officials denied reports of troop activity in the area on Thursday morning, but said there had been reports of a mortar shell fired in the northern Gaza Strip.

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