Israeli Raids Kill 5 Palestinians in Gaza

GAZA CITY – At least five Palestinians were killed and eight others injured late on Friday during two Israeli air raids that targeted two police stations in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian doctors and Hamas sources.

The first raid, which killed two Palestinians near Rafah at the southern end of the strip, was aimed at a police station occupied by Hamas, the Islamist movement which took power of Gaza in June 2007.

The second attack targeted another Hamas police base in the town of Khan Yunis in the center of the territory and killed one Palestinian, the same sources said, without specifying if the victims had been Hamas members.

Early Saturday, two more Palestinians succumbed to serious wounds they sustained during the raids.

Since Israel and the Palestinians re-launched formal peace talks in November at least 460 people have been killed.

An Israeli man was killed earlier on Friday by a mortar bomb fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, police said. Medical sources had earlier said the Israeli victim was a woman.

The victim, hit on a street in the kibbutz of Kfar Aza near the Gaza border, was the 10th Israeli to die in the past six years by mortar fire from the impoverished strip.

The military wing of Hamas, which ousted forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas from Gaza nearly 11 months ago, said it was behind Friday’s attack on Israel.

"The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades fired three 120 mm mortar bombs at the Kfar Aza settlement," it said in a statement.

Meanwhile an Islamic Jihad militant wounded in an Israeli air raid near Jabaliya in northern Gaza on Thursday has died in hospital, a Palestinian medic said on Friday.

(Agencies)

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