Beit Hanoun is just a few kilometres from the fence that separates Gaza from Israel.
The area has been used by militants to launch hundreds of home-made Qassam rockets at the nearby Israeli town of Sderot. At least four Israelis have been killed in such attacks since June 2004.
Israeli military incursions have been common in and around Beit Hanoun, with swathes of farmland destroyed by tanks and bulldozers.
Israel says it is clearing areas that militants could use for cover, but many Palestinians say it is collective punishment.
Back to introduction
Palestinian town of about 35,000 on north-east edge of Gaza Strip
A principle agricultural area, with citrus and olive groves
Estimated 289ha land cleared by Israeli army July 2004 after rocket launches