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Israeli Troops Kill One Palestinian in the West Bank


Israeli troops killed one Palestinian in the West Bank Friday, just hours after a bomb in the Gaza Strip destroyed a tank and killed three soldiers.

Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopters swept into the village of Saida, near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

Israeli soldiers arrested Palestinian militants during heavy clashes and also confiscated weapons.

Palestinian witnesses say the Israeli troops demolished the home of Islamic Jihad member Jasser Abdul Rahni and several others in the village.

Islamic Jihad is one of two Palestinian groups responsible for carrying out suicide bombings against Israelis.

A spokesman for the Israeli army said the operation was aimed at preventing the organisation from launching more attacks.

The Israeli raid came just hours after Palestinians used a powerful roadside bomb in the Gaza Strip to penetrate the armour of an Israeli tank, ripping the vehicle apart and killing three soldiers.

It was believed to have been the first time that the Palestinians have inflicted such severe damage against Israel's Merkava tanks, considered to be one of the safest and most advanced in the world.

The attack claimed by a coalition of Palestinian militants groups was reminiscent of operations carried out by the Hezbollah guerrilla fighters in southern Lebanon before Israel withdrew its forces from the area two years ago.

A senior Israeli military commander told Israel's army radio Friday that the country was fighting a similar war against Palestinians and it was impossible for an army not to suffer such casualties.

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