Monday, August 30, 2010

Israeli forces invade Rafah; clashes reported

Monday August 30, 2010 17:09 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

Late Sunday night, Israeli tanks, bulldozers and armored vehicles invaded the southern Gaza Strip, east of Rafah, and began bulldozing land in the An-Nahda neighborhood.
A spokesperson for the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of the Fateh party, said its fighters exchanged fire with the invading Israeli soldiers, leading the troops to retreat back to their base on the southern Gaza border.

The Israeli military did not confirm the incident, but did report that one mortar shell was fired Monday morning from the Gaza Strip into an open field in southern Israel.

Israeli invasions of Gaza are common, despite the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Rafah is a frequent target of invasions, and has seen thousands of home demolitions by Israeli forces attempting to create a 'security zone' between the city and the border. 

Brigade: Clashes after bulldozers enter south Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Brigades said violent clashes followed an Israeli military incursion east of Rafah, southern Gaza, overnight Sunday, a leader said.

Abdul Muntaser Omar said the entering force was attempting to bulldoze land in the An-Nahda neighborhood. Brigade members and Israeli forces exchanged fire, forcing the troops to retreat, he added.

The brigade leader further said Israeli forces used machine-guns during the exchange of fire, with no reports of injuries.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was not familiar with the incident, following a Ma'an inquiry.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported Monday that a mortar shell from Gaza exploded in an open field in southern Israel with no injuries or damage reported.