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Israel fires on Gaza Strip, 2 teens killed

June 19, 2012 10:07 A.M. (Updated: June 20, 2012 4:05 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two teenagers were killed in an Israeli operation in the central Gaza Strip overnight Monday, medics told Ma'an.

Israel's army said warplanes "targeted a terrorist squad identified handling an explosive device near the security fence," adding that a hit was identified.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli tanks entered Gaza south of al-Maghazi refugee camp and fired on Palestinians. Red Crescent teams evacuated the bodies of two teenagers on Tuesday morning, after a two-hour search operation.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the victims as Muhammad Bassam Abu Mueliq and Yousif Talbani, both aged 16. Al-Qidra said that their bodies were riddled with bullets.

Meanwhile, Hamas' military wing claimed responsibility for firing four rockets at an Israeli military base in Zikim, north of Gaza. An Israeli military spokesman said three rockets hit the Hof Ashkelon regional council, without causing damage or injuries.

A Hamas statement said the fire was in response to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in Monday which killed two Islamic Jihad militants and two others affiliated to Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades.

The death of two teenagers overnight Monday brought the death toll on the Gaza borders to six in 24 hours.

Israel bombed a street east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza on Monday evening, saying it had targeted a terrorist squad attempting to fire a rocket from the northern Gaza Strip. The Al-Qassam Brigades identified the casualties as Jihad Abu Shabab and Abdullah Zaanin.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli military forces shelled the same area, killing two men riding a motorcycle in a field, and injuring four others.

Islamic Jihad's military wing said the two men were en route to take part in a militant operation after Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip.
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