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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 15:53 GMT
Israel's Gaza commander resigns
A school destroyed in Israeli operations in Jabaliya camp
The Jabaliya operation was the first in the camp for two years
The most senior Israeli army commander in Gaza has resigned his post.

Brig Gen Shmuel Zakai is believed to have told reporters that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered an operation in Gaza that the army thought unnecessary.

One report says Gen Zakai failed a polygraph test that was part of the investigation into the press leaks.

More than 100 Palestinians died in clashes after Israeli forces went into the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza in late September for 17 days.

Controversial raid

The stated aim of the mission was to stop militants firing missiles into Israel.

Israeli news reports at the time said the army wanted to limit the incursion into Gaza, while Mr Sharon insisted it should continue.

Gen Zakai had been in charge of Israeli forces in Gaza for the past eight months.

No official reason has been given for his resignation.

Jabaliya is home to around 100,000 people and is said to be one of the most crowded places on earth.

The Gaza Strip has been occupied by Israel since it captured the territory in the 1967 war.

About 1.4 million Palestinians live in Gaza, of which 900,000 are refugees from conflicts with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to withdraw settlers and Israeli soldiers from Gaza next year, though Israel will maintain control of Gaza's borders, coastline and airspace.




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