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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
Militants killed in Gaza strikes
Wounded Palestinian boy being brought to hospital
Palestinians say attacks on Jabaliya camp are out of proportion
Four Palestinian militants have been killed in Israeli missile strikes in Gaza as an operation in the Jabaliya refugee camp continues.

A senior Islamic Jihad figure was killed with a colleague, while two al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members died.

More than 70 Palestinians have died in a week-long operation against militants blamed for firing missiles into Israel.

An Arab-sponsored draft UN resolution condemning the Gaza offensive was vetoed on Tuesday by the US.

The text was supported by 11 nations, but Britain, Germany and Romania abstained, and it was killed by the US.

Earlier US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said it was "unbalanced" as it contained no condemnation of rocket attacks on Israel.

I hope that this operation can come to a conclusion quickly
US Secretary of State Colin Powell

However, US Secretary of State Colin Powell did say he hoped the Israeli campaign would end soon.

He said Israel needed to respond to the rockets being fired its way, but he said he hoped the response was "proportionate to the threat that Israel is facing and I hope that this operation can come to a conclusion quickly".

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza said Tuesday had been the quietest day there since Israel's operation began a week ago.

But two late Israeli missile strikes rocked the territory.

The first hit a car containing two Islamic Jihad militants, including senior member Bashir al-Dabbash, in Gaza City.

He is one of the most senior militants killed in Gaza since Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi was assassinated in April.

Islamic Jihad vowed revenge.

Then came an attack on the Jabaliya camp, in which two al-Aqsa Martyrs died. At least four others were injured.

An army spokesman said the attack was launched by helicopters against militants planting bombs.

Also in Jabaliya, a Palestinian gunman was reported killed by an Israeli tank shell.

In the southern Gaza Strip, a teenage Palestinian girl was shot from an Israeli army observation tower, when troops reportedly mistook her schoolbag for a bomb.

In the West Bank, two members of the Palestinian security forces, an Israeli border policeman and a member of Hamas were reported killed.

'Talks underway'

Hopes were raised earlier on Tuesday of a negotiated end to the violence in Gaza.

Israeli security sources were quoted as saying there had been talks with a senior Palestinian official.

He was reportedly urging the militant group Hamas to guarantee no more rockets be fired at Israel, in return for an end to the operation.

There was no confirmation of the contact from Palestinian Authority sources.

Israel began its operation a week ago, but it was massively escalated on Wednesday when a rocket fired by Hamas militants hit a residential area of the Israeli town of Sderot, killing two toddlers.

Israel is planning to withdraw from Gaza, which it has occupied since 1967.

Approximately 8,000 Jewish settlers and the Israeli troops that protect them are expected to leave by the end of 2005, though Israel will maintain control of the territory's borders, coastline and airspace.

Nearly 1.4m Palestinians live in Gaza, about 900,000 of them refugees from previous conflicts with Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians



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




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