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Israeli Troops in Gaza Kill 10-Year-Old Boy, 3 Palestinian Gunmen - 2003-11-07

Israeli troops killed three Palestinian gunmen and a 10-year-old boy on Friday, during military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian witnesses say the boy, Mahmoud Kayed, was killed while hunting for birds with a net and a string with two other boys along the border fence that divides the Gaza Strip from Israel.

Israeli army officials said soldiers spotted what they regarded as suspicious figures handling an electric cable in a restricted area, where explosives are often planted against troops.

The soldiers fired from a mounted machine gun and launched a tank shell, the officials said.

The Israeli army reported that one of the Palestinians was hit, while the other two fled.

The incident followed earlier clashes in the Gaza Strip.

In central Gaza, an Israeli commando unit ambushed what the Israeli army said was a Palestinian terror cell outside a refugee camp.

The Israeli army says the cell has been responsible for planting explosive devices and firing mortars at the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom.

Israeli army officials said they killed two Palestinians among a group of five that were attempting to plant a roadside bomb.

In a separate incident, Israeli troops in the southern Gaza Strip shot dead another Palestinian, as he was laying explosives near Khan Yunis.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops, backed by tanks, moved into the West Bank town of Jenin in search of wanted Palestinian militants.

Elsewhere, in the West Bank, the Israeli army removed a roadblock west of Ramallah, allowing traffic to pass on the road for the first time in more than 2.5 years.

The massive barrier was erected after Palestinian gunmen killed six soldiers guarding a military checkpoint in February 2002.

At least three other roadblocks remain around Ramallah, where Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has his headquarters.