Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I-55 Israeli troops advance into Gaza towns

Israeli troops advance into Gaza towns
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip - Israeli ground troops, tanks and armored vehicles advanced on two northern Gaza towns Wednesday in pursuit of Palestinian rocket squads, besieging a well-known Hamas lawmaker's house and engaging militants in ferocious clashes, Palestinian officials said.

Snipers positioned themselves on more than a dozen rooftops in Beit Hanoun and Jebaliya in northern Gaza as the ground troops fanned out, Palestinian security officials said. Three teenage Palestinian girls were wounded by Israeli gunfire outside a school in Beit Hanoun, hospital and security officials said.

Militants, led by gunmen from the ruling Hamas party's military wing, faced off against troops in both towns with land mines, antitank missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, security officials said. Hamas commanders instructed their gunmen not to travel in cars for fear they would draw Israeli airstrikes.


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