Death toll from Israeli offensive in Gaza rises to 20

March 1st, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by admin  

Gaza, March 1 (Xinhua) The death toll from Israeli military operations in northeastern Gaza Strip rose to 20 while 60 more people were wounded, hospital sources said Saturday. Mo’aweya Hassanein, chief of emergency and ambulance services in the ministry of health, told reporters that 20 Palestinians, including three children, were killed and 60 others wounded in Israeli strikes in an area east of Jabalia town in northern Gaza.

So far 54 Palestinians have been killed and about 200 wounded in the Israeli strikes since Wednesday, Hassanein said.

The Hamas police sources said three airstrikes were carried out by Israeli aircraft Friday on northern Gaza Strip, which were followed by a brief ground incursion into the area of Jabalia.

The sources said several tanks and armoured vehicle backed by fighter helicopters stormed Abu Safeyya and al-Kashef neighbourhoods amid intensive shelling and air strike.

Al-Quds Brigades, armed wing of Islamic Jihad (Holy War) movement, said one of its militants was killed and two others wounded in an Israeli air strike in al-Kashef neighbourhood.

Another militant, member of Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades, was also killed in an air strike on his car in an area east of Jabalia, the armed wing of Hamas said in a leaflet.

Israel vowed to harshly respond to the rocket attacks from Gaza on its southern communities, which has been intensified since last Wednesday.

However, armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for launching several homemade rockets and mortars at Israel, defying the Israeli strikes on Gaza.

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