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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Palestinians mourn Jihad leader
Palestinians carry the body of Luay Saadi during his funeral in the northern West Bank
The death Islamic Jihad leader Luay Saadi sparked further violence
Thousands of Palestinians have attended the burial of a senior Islamic Jihad leader killed by Israeli forces amid escalating violence.

Luay Saadi's death in a shootout in Tulkarm on Sunday sparked clashes between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Islamic Jihad sought to avenge their loss by firing rockets into Israel.

Israel responded with fresh air strikes on Palestinian targets in Gaza earlier on Tuesday.

Five people were hurt and two buildings damaged after Israeli missiles hit the Gaza Strip.

About 10,000 people attended Saadi's funeral in Tulkarm, where shops and schools closed for the day, reports said.

His father, Jihad, told the Associated Press that his son had gone underground having been arrested on numerous occasions by Israeli security forces.

"He decided he did not want to go back to prison because he saw bad things there," he said.

Israel had blamed Saadi for masterminding recent bomb attacks that had killed ten people.

'Frightening blasts'

A building belonging to the Fatah political party in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, was hit and damaged in the first Israeli helicopter attack on Tuesday. No casualties were reported.

Later, a building housing a charity linked to Islamic Jihad in Rafah, in southern Gaza, was targeted, injuring five people.

The Israelis say that the buildings were both linked to what they called terrorist activity, the BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza City reports.

During the night, Israeli fighter jets made a series of low-level passes over Gaza City, triggering huge and frightening blasts as they broke the sound barrier, our correspondent says.

The other major Palestinian militant group, Hamas, says it is observing an informal truce.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has warned that the latest Israeli operation could upset the truce.

"We condemn the Israeli incursion and assassinations in Tulkarm. This threatens the ceasefire," he told Reuters news agency.


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