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Monday, 16 December, 2002, 10:56 GMT
Three Palestinians shot dead
Destroyed buildings in Gaza
Israel has continued its policy of demolishing Palestinian homes
Three Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers in two separate incidents in the Gaza Strip early on Monday.

Two members of militant Islamic group Hamas were killed as they tried to enter Israel from the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said.

And Israeli soldiers shot a man near the Jewish settlement of Neve Delakim in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources said he was a farmer, but Israel said he had opened fire at an army post in the settlement.

A local farmer near Beit Hanoun, where the two Hamas men were killed, told the Associated Press news agency that a gun battle had raged for hours.

Israeli military officials said that bombs, grenades and ammunition were found with the men.

On Sunday, an Israeli court sentenced four Palestinians to jail terms of at least 50 years, for planning suicide attack that left 35 people dead.

The men had been recruited by Hamas.

Buildings destroyed

The man shot dead in the south of the Gaza Strip was identified by a local hospital as 22-year-old Hassan Shalulah.

His family said he was a farmer and had been hit when he went out to inspect his irrigation system on his land.

But an Israeli army spokesman said that he was one of three gunmen who opened fire on the Neve Delakim settlement.

The mayor of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, said Israeli soldiers demolished 16 houses overnight, leaving 100 people homeless.

The Israeli Army said the houses were abandoned and were being used by gunmen when targeting Israeli soldiers.


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16 Dec 02 | Middle East
05 Dec 02 | Middle East
04 Dec 02 | Middle East
29 Nov 02 | Middle East
03 Dec 02 | Africa
22 Nov 01 | South Asia
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