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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 11:11 GMT
Two killed in Gaza missile strike
Map of Gaza Strip showing location of Khan Younis refugee camp
At least two Palestinians were killed early on Friday when an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

That takes to 12 the number of Palestinians killed since the Israeli army entered the camp on Wednesday.

Also on Friday a 16-year-old Palestinian boy died after being shot in Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

Late on Thursday, an Israeli missile strike killed four Palestinians - at least three of them accused militants.

Five other Palestinians, including two civilians and three Hamas militants, were killed during clashes with Israeli troops in the camp earlier on Thursday.

Witnesses said Friday's missile strike was carried out by an unmanned Israeli drone, Reuters news agency reported.

The Israeli army said the two men were killed when they were spotted planting explosives near an Israeli military position.

The Gaza Strip has been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to pull out all 8,000 Israeli settlers and the troops who protect them from 21 fortified enclaves in Gaza. Israel will maintain control of Gaza's borders, coastline and airspace.

Palestinian militants have been carrying out regular rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli settlements, although few have caused casualties.

Israel says its operations in Gaza aim to root out Palestinian fighters gunmen and stop attacks.

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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