Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Israel kills 4 in Gaza, withdraws from refugee camp | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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GAZA,(Reuters) – Palestinian medics said Israeli shelling of a home in Gaza on Friday killed a Hamas militant and three civilians, as tanks and troops withdrew from a refugee camp following a three-day assault.

Medics had earlier said two children were among the dead, but they later said they had been wounded.

The medics said what appeared to be tank fire hit the house in Gaza City’s Shijia neighbourhood, killing Mohammed Harara of the governing Hamas movement’s armed wing, his mother and two other relatives.

An army spokeswoman said forces were operating near Gaza City at the time and came under attack by militants.

“But we are not familiar with fire toward a house,” she said.

Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip after gunmen including Hamas members abducted a soldier in a cross-border raid last month.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli tanks and troops pulled out of central Gaza’s Maghazi refugee camp after a three-day sweep in which 15 gunmen and civilians were killed.

The Israeli army confirmed the withdrawal.

“Yes, our forces are out, but it is important to emphasise that operations in Gaza continue,” the spokeswoman said.

Israeli troops and tanks remain in southern Gaza, apparently in a bid to prevent the abducted soldier from being transferred to neighbouring Egypt, and in northern Gaza, site of frequent rocket launches by Palestinian militants into the Jewish state.

Israel has killed at least 115 Palestinians, around half of them militants, during its offensive.

The Jewish state has also launched a major campaign in Lebanon after Hizbollah guerrillas captured two soldiers and killed eight in a cross-border raid on July 12.

The fighting in the north has killed at least 312 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and displaced half a million.

Thirty-four Israeli troops and civilians have been killed.