DHAKA: Israeli tank shells have killed at least five Palestinians and wounded 30 in the Gaza Strip after an apparent attack on an Israeli army patrol in the border area, Palestinian medics and local witnesses said.
The casualty toll in Saturday’s violence was one of the highest in a single incident in Gaza in recent months.
At least five of the injured, some of them children, are in critical condition, medical sources said.
There were reports early Sunday morning that Palestinian militants had fired rockets into Israel in retaliation, with at least six landing in towns near the Gaza Strip.
Israeli media reported four people lightly injured, reports Al Jazeera.
Residents said a crowded mourning tent in the Shijaia neighbourhood near Gaza City was full of people paying respects to a bereaved family man when a shell struck.
Ambulances, private vehicles and motorbikes rushed the wounded to hospital, eyewitnesses said. Among those killed was an 18-year-old man.
‘The occupation’s targeting of civilians was a grave escalation that must not pass in silence,’ Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.
‘Resistance must be reinforced in order to block the aggression.’
The Israeli army opened fire with tank shells hitting an urban area east of Gaza City after Palestinian fighters fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli border patrol, according to Israeli sources.
The Israeli army confirmed that troops had been targeted by an anti-tank missile along the border.
‘An anti-tank rocket was fired at Israeli soldiers during a routine patrol along northern Gaza. They responded to the fire,’ a spokeswoman said.
BDST: 1401 HRS, NOV 11, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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