[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 2 February, 2004, 10:47 GMT
'Four dead' in latest Gaza raid
Map of Gaza showing Gaza City and Rafah
A suspected local leader of Islamic Jihad was reportedly among four people killed during an Israeli raid in Gaza.

Palestinian witnesses and medical staff said Yasser Abu al-Aesh was shot dead in a battle with Israeli soldiers in Rafah along with three other militants.

Israeli army sources said the men opened fire and threw a grenade as soldiers approached the men's house.

Al-Aesh, who had lost three limbs in a bomb-making accident, was reportedly high on Israel's wanted list.

Hamas threat

The house where the men had been staying in the Rafah refugee camp was completely destroyed.

At one point in the fight al-Aesh and his brother ran out of ammunition, Palestinian witnesses told the Associated Press news agency.

There are conflicting reports as to how al-Aesh lost his legs and arm last year.

Some reports say a rocket he was building exploded prematurely; others say an Israeli tank shell hit his rocket firing team, maiming him and killing his comrades.

The troops, who had been supported by helicopters, later withdrew from the area.

On Sunday Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said a warning from the spiritual leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas that its members would try to kidnap Israeli soldiers meant Israel had to strike at militant leaders.

"[Sheikh Ahmed] Yassin's statement makes it more imperative for Israel to attack the heads of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad," Mr Mofaz said.

More than 2,600 Palestinians and at least 875 Israelis have died since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000.




Israel and the Palestinians

KEY STORIES

FEATURES & ANALYSIS

Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy

VIDEO AND AUDIO


PROFILES

 



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific