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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 06, 2002

Ten dead in Gaza shelling

There would seem to be some oldfashioned notion that an army seeking its enemies ought not to go into any area that may house civilians who are not directly involved in killing activies, despite the fact that the killers do not wear uniforms, hide among civilians, and amidst the non-involved. Thus, when innocents get killed, it is the "fault" of soldiers in uniform carrying out their duties who are denounced by those allowing killers to hide out.
Palestinian homes were targeted in the raid.

At least 10 Palestinians have been killed in a gun battle triggered by an Israeli armoured incursion into a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian witnesses said the Israeli troops entered al-Bureij camp in about 40 tanks and other armoured vehicles, triggering heavy exchanges of fire with Palestinian gunmen.

It was as if the doors of hell were opened in our camp by the helicopters and the tanks

Witness Mohammed Al-Maqadama

They accused the Israelis of firing indiscriminately, and said that some of the casualties were caused when a tank shell hit a house, but Israel has strongly denied this.

The Israeli army said all of the victims were militants - at least five of them from the Islamic group Hamas - but Palestinians say all but two were civilians.

Local hospital officials said another 10 people - including a family of five - were wounded before the Israeli troops pulled out.

The Israeli Defence Force said its troops - who were backed up by helicopter gunships - came under intense fire from close quarters during the operation against "terrorist targets and infrastructure" in the area.

The incursion came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that militants from Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network were active in Gaza - a claim derided by Palestinians.

'Continuation of massacres'

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat described the incursion as "Israeli terrorism".
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