Ma'an News Agency
December 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as they reportedly tried to infiltrate an Israeli kibbutz east of the Gaza Strip, military radio reported on Thursday.

The Israeli military said the bodies of two members of Islamic Jihad were found in the area.

Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, also announced that the two were members of the organization.

The report came hours after Palestinian sources said Israeli tanks stationed east of Gaza City let off an barrage of artillery fire toward the cemetery shortly after 3 a.m., a move that was followed by a limited incursion into the area.

According to sources in Gaza, a total of 15 artillery shells were launched, landing on farmland near the cemetery. Palestinian medics have not reported injuries.

Shortly after the barrage, the sources said, seven Israeli military jeeps entered the area for what was described as a sweep, then withdrew at 6 a.m.

A statement from the Israeli military said troops "identified a number of armed Palestinians near the security fence in the Northern Gaza Strip. An IAF aircraft, accompanied by an IDF ground force using tank shells, fired towards the militants, identifying a hit."

A report from Israel Radio said forces recovered the bodies of the two men and found weapons and explosive devices on them, without specifying whether the men were killed inside Gaza or Israeli territory.

A spokesman for the army later clarified that the men were within the Gaza border "approaching the border fence from within the 300 meter buffer zone."


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017