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At Least 8 Palestinians Killed During Israeli Attacks in Gaza

At least eight Palestinians have been killed during Israeli military operations Wednesday in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medical sources say four people were killed after Israeli ground fire struck a house in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. At least nine people were wounded in the incident.

In Gaza City, Palestinian witnesses say an Israeli air strike on a car killed at least four militants.

Sources say the dead were members of the Army of Islam, a radical Palestinian group believed linked to al-Qaida.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Israel is getting closer to launching a broad military offensive in Gaza. Last week, Israel declared Gaza an "enemy entity."

The Palestinian territory is ruled by Hamas, which Israel considers a terrorist group.

In the West Bank, Palestinian security services say they discovered explosives and two homemade rockets in the town of Beit Jala, near Jerusalem. Security sources say the rockets resemble those used by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In other news, the Israeli army says it has arrested the last Palestinian man wanted in the killing of two Israeli reserve soldiers in 2000. Sources say the man, Ayman Zaban, a militant, was arrested in the West Bank town of Nablus.

In the early weeks of the current Palestinian uprising in 2000, two Israeli reservists, Vadim Norzich and Yossi Avraham, were arrested and taken to a Palestinian police station in the West Bank city of Ramallah. A mob stormed the station, and beat and stabbed the two Israelis.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.