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Israel launches limited incursion in northern Gaza Strip

Nov. 3, 2013 2:04 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 3, 2013 6:14 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A number of Israeli military vehicles crossed into the Gaza Strip north of Beit Lahiya on Sunday morning, spraying sporadic gunfire, a witness said.

An eyewitness told Ma'an that the Israeli military forces conducted the incursion at 1 a.m. in the northern Gaza Strip and started razing lands, firing intermittently.

No injuries were reported.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said that she had not received reports of the incident.

The incursion follows two deadly Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip: an air strike in northern Gaza that killed three Palestinians on Friday and an artillery shelling in Khan Younis refugee camp that killed one on Thursday.

Also on Friday, five Israeli soldiers were wounded by an explosive device as they were clearing a tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Israel has repeatedly violated the ceasefire with Hamas that was negotiated following Operation Pillar of Defense in Nov. 2012, during which Israel launched a major assault on Gaza killing around 170 Palestinians in an 8-day-period. Six Israelis also died in the conflict.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2007. The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
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