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Palestinian killed, Israeli soldier injured in Gaza gunfight

Dec. 24, 2014 11:43 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 26, 2014 10:21 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was killed and an Israeli soldier seriously injured during a gun battle in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces fired heavily in border areas in Khuzaa and al-Qarara east of Khan Younis, killing Taysir al-Smeiri, 33, and injuring two others.

Hamas said al-Smeiri was the head of its reconnaissance unit in southern Gaza.

"In response to the firing at our forces who were east of the fence in the southern Gaza Strip, we carried out immediate attacks against the relevant targets. There was an air strike and one by a tank," an Israeli army statement said.

Israel's army confirmed that an Israeli soldier suffered a severe chest injury and was evacuated to hospital.

Last weekend, for the first time since the war ended on August 26, Israeli warplanes struck southern Gaza after militants fired a rocket over the border.

On Nov. 23, Fadil Muhammad Halawah, 32, was shot dead by Israeli forces while hunting birds east of Jabaliya.
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