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Israeli warplane strikes on southern Gaza, one killed

A PALESTINIAN militant was killed as an Israeli warplane struck yesterday the motorcycle he was driving east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, medics and witnesses said.

The witnesses said that an Israeli warplane fired an air-to-ground missile at a motorcycle in Khan Younis, adding that one person, who was driving it was killed. Medics at Nasser Hospital in the city confirmed the man's death.

It is the Israel's reaction to an earlier roadside bomb attack on an Israeli armored personnel carrier east of the area of central Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel, which killed an Israeli soldier and wounded three. No one claimed responsibility.

Palestinian sources and residents in the area said that a roadside bomb was detonated near the fence of the border, adding that they heard a huge explosion and intensive gunshot.

Israeli media sources also reported that one Israeli soldier was killed and three wounded in armed clashes between Israeli soldiers who were stationed near the border and Gaza militants.

The Israeli army imposed censorship on publishing the report, said the Israeli media sources. Israeli radio reported that Palestinian militants fired an R.B.J missile at an Israeli tank inthe area and no one claimed responsibility for the attack.

Violence between the two sides has escalated yesterday, more than one week since Israel stopped its offensive on Gaza in January 18.

Yesterday morning, a Palestinian civilian was killed by an Israeli shelling on an area east of central Gaza Strip near the border with Israel.

Witnesses said Israeli tanks shelled the Palestinian residential area near the crossing of Kissufim on the border between Israel and east of central Gaza Strip.

A 22-day Israeli military air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip ended in January 18, had left ten Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians killed, where around 1,400 Palestinians killed and 5,500 wounded during the offensive.

Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire and an end of the operation in January 18. However, Gaza militant groups had announced a one-week ceasefire with Israel conditioning that the Israeli army ground forces should pull out from Gaza.

Egypt has been mediating a longer term ceasefire between Israeland Hamas movement. A new one-year ceasefire might come into effect on February 5, according to media reports from Cairo.


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