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Israel Foils Attack on Jewish Settlement in Gaza


Israeli forces have foiled an attempted bombing of a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, shooting and killing one of the attackers. Meanwhile, Israel troops are scaling down their operation in southern Gaza to uncover and destroy what they say were tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt.

Israeli forces opened fire on three Palestinians trying to place a bomb inside the Jewish settlement of Morag, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The two other attackers fled the area, where Israeli soldiers found and defused three explosive devices.

The attempted attack occurred as Israel pulled most of its troops out of Rafah, also in the southern Gaza Strip, where troops have been searching for and destroying weapons-smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian border.

At least eight Palestinians, including two boys, were killed as the soldiers exchanged fire with the Palestinian gunmen during the raid, code-named Operation Root Canal.

The Israeli army also demolished five buildings in Rafah that it claimed were used by Palestinian snipers to fire on soldiers. Another three buildings used to conceal gun-smuggling tunnels were also destroyed.

Israeli officials said the operation followed intelligence reports that Palestinians were attempting to acquire missiles that could knock out tanks and aircraft - weapons they have not used before.

The Israeli army said it uncovered three tunnels used for smuggling arms, but no weapons. While most of the soldiers in the operation have withdrawn from Rafah, small groups of soldiers are expected to continue searches for more tunnels.

During the pullback, the soldiers again came under attack from Palestinian gunmen.

Palestinians in Gaza also fired a homemade Kassam rocket at the town of Sderot, in the Negev area of Israel. The rocket damaged one road, but there were no reports of injuries.

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