Israeli troops advance into Gaza, arrest Palestinians in West Bank

19:36, June 09, 2010      

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Israeli troops advanced on Wednesday dozens of meters into the Gaza Strip and clashed with Palestinian militants, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.

An Israeli force, backed by tanks and bulldozers, crossed the fence separating the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and razed large tracts of agricultural lands east of Gaza City, an official from Hamas' national security forces said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, added that the Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian militants who tried to thwart the Israeli attack. No injuries were reported.

Witnesses near the scene told Xinhua they heard intermittent rounds of gunfire, adding that the Israeli troops withdrew after they finished leveling the fields.

Israeli troops advance occasionally into the area neighboring the border fence alongside the Gaza Strip where they enforce a 300- meter-wide buffer zone to deter Gaza militants from launching rockets or carrying out military operations against troops patrolling the area.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers arrested eight Palestinians from the West bank cities of Qalqilya, Jenin, Nablus and Hebron.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian police in Ramallah said that the eight Palestinians were arrested during search operations the Israeli army carries in the West Bank very often.

The Palestinian national Authority (PNA) has been asking Israel to stop its military operations in the West Bank to enable the Palestinian security forces to enforce law and order in the territory.

Source: Xinhua


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