Three Israelis killed in Gaza bombing

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Associated Press ReporterJERUSALEM (AP) -- Three Israelis were killed and two wounded Thursday when a bomb went off next to a tank in the Gaza Strip, Israeli military officials said.

Palestinians opened fire on a civilian convoy guarded by soldiers and set off a bomb, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Israelis sent a tank into the area and a huge bomb exploded under it, they said. The officials would not say whether the casualties were soldiers or civilians.

The incident took place near the Netzarim intersection southeast of Gaza City, the officials said.

About 5,000 Israeli settlers live in Gaza among more than a million Palestinians. Israel controls the main roads through Gaza, and soldiers protect convoys of civilian vehicles entering and leaving the settlements.

The Israeli rescue service Magen David Adom sent ambulances to the scene of the bombing. The wounded were taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.

The attack follows an Israeli incursion into Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza. The 18-hour operation, the largest in Gaza since violence erupted more than 16 months ago, ended Wednesday evening. Five Palestinians were killed during the raids, which the Israeli military said were a response to rocket fire by Hamas militants on Sunday.

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