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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 07:08 GMT 08:08 UK
Israelis raid Gaza refugee camp
Israeli troops in Ramallah
Israeli troops are due to leave Palestinian areas
Israeli troops supported by tanks and helicopters have raided a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, killing one person and wounding four others.

The violence comes as military commanders from both sides are due to meet to discuss the implementation of a plan under which Israeli forces will withdraw from Palestinian population centres.

Map
Palestinian witnesses reported that up to 20 Israeli tanks firing heavy machine-guns entered the Khan Yunis camp.

They said the Israeli troops used megaphones to order residents to leave an area of the camp before blowing up a building, killing one person inside.

A soldier guarding the nearby Jewish settlement of Gadid was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper on Tuesday. Militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the shooting.

The Israeli army said that during its Wednesday morning operation, troops came under attack from explosives, grenades and gunfire.

Its statement added that troops were ordered to "destroy abandoned houses that are used as shelter or as firing positions" by armed Palestinians.

Security plan

Monday night saw Israeli troops withdraw from the West Bank town of Bethlehem, as well as nearby villages and Dheishe refugee camp.

The withdrawal took place under the "Gaza, Bethlehem First" security plan concluded between Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer and Palestinian Interior Minister Abdelrazak al-Yahya.

The plan foresees a progressive Israeli withdrawal from land it has re-occupied during the 23-month Palestinian intifada, or uprising, if the reformed Palestinian security forces can ensure an end to militant attacks on Israelis.

Hours after the withdrawal from Bethlehem, the brother of a leading Palestinian militant was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Mohammed Saadat, 22, brother of Ahmad Saadat, the jailed head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was shot as he tried to resist an Israeli special unit trying to capture him outside his home.

Palestinian minister Saeb Erakat described the shooting as an "assassination".

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The BBC's James Rodgers
"This operation was carried out following the death of an Israeli soldier on Tuesday"

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20 Aug 02 | Middle East
19 Aug 02 | Middle East
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