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Gaza gunbattle

Last updated: 2004-07-08

IDF

IDF

At least eight Palestinians have been killed and an Israeli soldier seriously wounded in a fierce gunbattle in the northern Gaza Strip.

The fighting at Beit Hanoun is the deadliest since Israeli forces invaded the town early last week to stop militants from firing homemade rockets into nearby Israel.

Palestinians identified the dead as militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and from Hamas.

Elsewhere, four Israeli soldiers were wounded in southern Gaza when an explosion struck their vehicle near a Jewish settlement. The militant Islamic Jihad group said it planted a roadside bomb.

In nearby Khan Younis, Palestinians say Israeli gunfire wounded at least four people as Israeli heavy equipment destroyed several houses and dozens of olive and orange trees.

Story supplied by: VOAnews