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Gaza City residents report shelling

Dec. 29, 2010 9:45 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2010 12:06 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Locals in Gaza City said shelling was heard east of the city center near the border with Israel on Wednesday morning.

Israeli army officials said they were not familiar with any military activity in the area, and medics said no injuries were reported.

Wednesday afternoon the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades released a statement saying its fighters had opened fire on Israeli soldiers carrying out maintenance work north of Beit Hanoun.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that at 12:15 soldiers operating in Gaza heard gunfire, but reported no injuries.

Residents who heard the blasts said they were concerned that a new Israeli offensive was in the offing.

Israeli police in the region around Gaza have not reported any projectile launches in the past 24 hours.

Tuesday evening border skirmishes in the south claimed the life of one resistance fighter, and saw five others injured east of Khan Younis.

A Israeli army spokeswoman said "our soldiers, with air support, opened fire on members of a terrorist cell that was trying to place an explosive device near the security barrier" separating Gaza from Israel.

Also on Tuesday, PA Cabinet members in the West Bank expressed concern over Israel's "dangerous threats that coincide with the second anniversary of the Israeli aggression on Gaza," warning of the implications stemming from "an Israeli escalation."
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