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Sharon says Israel to Expand its Gaza Offensive - 2004-10-03


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says Israel will expand its offensive in Gaza, to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets into southern Israel.

Mr. Sharon spoke Sunday on Israeli radio, as about 2,000 Israeli troops and scores of tanks pressed deeper into Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp. More than 50 Palestinians have been killed in the incursion - one of the deadliest Israeli operations in the Palestinian territories in four years.

Despite the Israeli push, militants fired another rocket into Israel today. A short while later, witnesses say an Israeli air strike killed two Palestinians allegedly linked to the attack.

Earlier, four other Palestinians were killed in Jabaliya. Three were identified as militants. The fourth was a deaf-mute man who witnesses say was hit by a bullet as he stood on the balcony of his home.

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