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Sunday, 1 December, 2002, 09:55 GMT
Two killed in Gaza raid
Palestinians take cover during previous incursion into Beit Lahiya
Beit Lahiya has been the scene of previous incursions
Two Palestinian men have been killed during an Israeli army operation in the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses say.

The body of an elderly man was found on Sunday morning under the rubble of one of three homes demolished by the Israelis in the town of Beit Lahiya.

Map of Gaza showing Gaza City and Beit Lahiya
One resident died after being shot as troops clashed with local gunmen and at least eight other Palestinians were wounded, hospital officials and witnesses said.

About 30 tanks and armoured vehicles, backed by attack helicopters, swept into the town as residents were emerging from evening prayers on Saturday.

Power was knocked out after electricity transformers were fired at, according to Palestinian security officials.

Common Israeli tactic

The homes demolished during the operation belonged to Palestinian militants responsible for the deaths of 24 Israelis, the army said.

The house where the body found belonged to the family of Hisham Dab, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber who killed 20 Israelis in a March 1996 attack in Tel Aviv, the army said.

Palestinian officials said 70-year-old Ashour Dab was not given enough time to leave the house before it was demolished.

Demolition of homes of suspected militants has been one tactic used by Israel to deter or retaliate for attacks.

Schoolboy killed

The incursion into Beit Lahiya, about five kilometres (three miles) north of Gaza City, came hours after Palestinian sources said Israeli troops shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian boy on his way home from school in Gaza.

Another boy was wounded as the pair approached a border fence between Gaza and Israel, according to witnesses and hospital officials.

The Israeli army said it was investigating the reports and a military source told the Reuters news agency that warning shots had been fired.

Israel has also been carrying out security operations in other Palestinian areas, including Hebron in the West Bank.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
James Rodgers reports from Gaza
"The Israeli army says it needs to prevent attacks on Israeli targets"

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