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As truce expires, air raid on Gaza kills one, injures three

Latest update : 2008-12-20

An Israeli air raid on suspected militants in the Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian man and wounded three others near the town of Jabalya. The strike comes one day after a tenuous Egyptian-backed ceasefire between Hamas and Israel expired.

AFP - Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and wounded three others in an air raid on the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, a day after the end of a shaky six-month truce, medical sources and witnesses said.
   
The attack took place near the northern town of Jabalya when an Israeli warplane fired three missiles at a group of militants preparing to launch rockets on Israel, witnesses said.
   
Medics named the dead man as Ali Hijazi, 22. He and two of the wounded, one seriously hurt, were said to be members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed offshoot of the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
   
A civilian was also wounded.
   
Tensions had been surging in and around Gaza most of the week after Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the besieged Palestinian enclave, declared an end to the troubled truce with Israel and warned they would respond to any attack.
   
On Friday, militants fired four rockets at Israel without causing casualties or property damage.
   
Hamas's Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades military wing said: "The ceasefire is over and there won't be a renewal because the Zionist enemy has not respected its conditions."
   
Both Hamas and Israel have said they would respond if attacked, but neither has said it would go on the offensive at this stage.
   
"We issue a warning to the Zionist enemy: all attacks against the Gaza Strip or any new crime will trigger a large-scale confrontation and we will retaliate very fiercely," tje Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said.
   
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told the Haaretz newspaper "if the quiet continues, there will be quiet. If the lull is shattered, we will act."
   
"I do not flinch from an operation and I do not rush into an operation," he added of the impoverished territory.

Date created : 2008-12-20

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