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2 Islamic Jihad men killed on Gaza border

Dec. 2, 2010 10:36 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2010 11:46 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two members of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad were killed by Israeli shelling and aerial bombing east of Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the group, also announced that the two were members of the organization. The deceased were identified as Mahmoud An-Najjr and Jalal Abed Al-Karim, both from Jabaliya.

A spokesman for the organization told Ma'an that the two were "planting explosive charges in the eastern area in case Israel carried out any attack."

The Israeli military also said the bodies of two members of Islamic Jihad were found in the area. In a statement the military said on the bodies of the two were "light weapons, uniforms and an explosive device."

Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Salmiya said the two bodies were later recovered by medics and taken to Kamal Udwan hospital in northern Gaza.

On Thursday evening Al-Quds Brigades also claimed it launched mortar shells at Israeli vehicles operating near the Eastern Cemetery, in the same area where the two operatives were killed.

Earlier, Palestinian sources said Israeli tanks stationed along the eastern border let off an barrage of artillery fire toward the cemetery shortly after 3 a.m., a move that was followed by a limited incursion into the area.

According to sources in Gaza, a total of 15 artillery shells were launched, landing on farmland near the cemetery. Palestinian medics have not reported injuries.

Shortly after the barrage, the sources said, seven Israeli military vehicles entered the area for what was described as a sweep, then withdrew at 6 a.m.

The Israeli army said soldiers "identified a number of armed Palestinians near the security fence in the Northern Gaza Strip. An IAF aircraft, accompanied by an IDF ground force using tank shells, fired towards the militants, identifying a hit."

A spokesman for the army later clarified that the men were within the Gaza border "approaching the border fence from within the 300 meter buffer zone."

AFP contributed to this report
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