Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 09:23 UK

Girl killed in fresh Gaza clashes

A Palestinian boy climbs up the ruined staircase of a house following a raid in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on 26 April 2008
Israeli forces used tanks backed by airstrikes in the pre-dawn raid

Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinian militants during a raid on northern Gaza, hours after rejecting a truce offered by Hamas.

Palestinian doctors say a 14-year-old girl died and eight other people were injured in the raid, in Beit Lahiya.

They say the casualties included the girl's mother, but were mostly gunmen involved in clashes with the Israelis.

Reports say the target of the raid was local Hamas leader Hassan Marouf, but the Israeli army refused to comment.

The Associated Press news agency quotes witnesses as saying the Israelis seized him from his home amid heavy fighting.

The Israeli army said none of its troops were injured.

Damage after the attack

The raid began before dawn, with an Israeli undercover force entering northern Gaza backed by tanks and aircraft.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants fired at them with machine guns, mortars and homemade bombs.

On Friday Hamas proposed a six-month "period of quiet" in Gaza, which it said could then be extended to the West Bank.

Israel dismissed the proposal as a ruse to allow Hamas to "re-arm and re-group".

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