Middle East

Israeli tanks take part in deadly Gaza Strip raid

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Israeli tanks have entered the northern Gaza Strip, sparking fighting that killed one Palestinian and injured two.

AFP news agency reported that seven tanks had made a limited incursion 200m into Palestinian territory on Tuesday, sparking a shootout with militants.

Other reports suggested armoured vehicles and bulldozers were involved.

Hamas emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said Amjad al-Zaanein, 23, had been killed by Israeli tank fire east of Beit Hanoun.

Local Palestinians said the casualties had been collecting stones to recycle into bricks when they came under fire.

Israel's military said it was responding to an attack by Palestinian militants who had detonated an explosive device targeting an army patrol along the border.

"A short while after the incident, soldiers identified two militants handling the device trigger system and consequently opened fire on them," a military spokeswoman was quoted as telling AFP. "A hit was confirmed."

Cross-border violence has escalated in recent weeks. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the enclave, has appealed for calm, urging other militant factions to stop their attacks on Israel.

It is two years since a war in Gaza which left 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

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