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Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills 2
User ID: 20104
05/25/2007 03:10 PM
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli planes fired on a car traveling in Gaza City, killing two militants Friday in one of a series of airstrikes that began before midnight with a hit on the refugee camp that is home to the Palestinian prime minister.
The army confirmed that it had targeted militants traveling in the vehicle. Hamas said its men were in the car that was hit.
An earlier airstrike had hit a Hamas training center south of Gaza City, destroying the compound and lightly injuring at least three, witnesses said.
More than 40 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids over the past 10 days, and an Israeli woman was killed by a rocket on Monday in a Palestinian rocket barrage _ one of many that have severely disrupted life in the area near Gaza and forced thousands to flee.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has proposed a halt of rocket attacks on Israel for a month to allow the Palestinian factions to discuss a renewed truce with Israel, and each other. Abbas said he is waiting to hear from the factions before talking with Israel.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh stayed away from public prayers on Friday, even though Israel denied he was a target of the missile fired at the Shati refugee camp just before midnight Thursday.
No one was hurt in that attack, which Israel said targeted an unspecified structure used by Hamas. Other targets around that time were a money changer’s shop in Gaza City that the army said funneled funds to terror organizations, and a Hamas post in northern Gaza.
Another airstrike targeted a Hamas training center south of Gaza City, destroying the compound and lightly injuring at least three, witnesses said.
On Thursday, Israel broadened its tactics by rounding up 33 Hamas political leaders in the West Bank, including the education minister, Nasser Shaer, considered a pragmatist.
Israel has been holding 40 Palestinian lawmakers from Hamas rounded up over the past year.
Visiting EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called on both sides to halt the violence.
"The rockets and the Israeli response have to stop," he told reporters after meeting with Abbas.
Days after the flare-up with Israel began, Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah movement halted more than a week of bloody internal clashes.
Separately, Gaza’s border crossing with Egypt was reopened on Friday after Israel relaxed a security alert that kept it closed 12 days.
Pedestrians carrying bags and suitcases clustered at the crossing, Gaza’s gateway to the outside world. Others piled into buses or onto the backs of trucks along the road leading to the passage.
Israel has kept the passage closed frequently over the past year, citing concerns about weapons-smuggling into Gaza. The Palestinians say the closures, which prevent people and goods from coming in and out of Gaza, have crippled their economy.
[link to news.bostonherald.com]
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