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Israeli helicopters attack Palestinian security compound in Gaza

A view of the damage to a Palestinian security compound hit by Israeli warplanes on Friday.
A view of the damage to a Palestinian security compound hit by Israeli warplanes on Friday.  

From Matthew Chance and Sheila MacVicar

RAFAH, Gaza (CNN) -- Israeli helicopters attacked a Palestinian security compound with missiles early Saturday, Israeli Defense Forces reported.

Helicopters targeted the Palestinian military intelligence headquarters and a building housing Force 17, a Palestinian Authority special unit, around 1:15 a.m. local time (6:15 p.m. EDT).

The attacks came after Israel's demands went unheeded that Palestinians halt the mortar fire on the settlement of Gush Kapif in southern Gaza, the IDF said. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said no one was injured in the attack.

The Israeli airstrikes were the second in the last 24 hours in Gaza, following an attack by Israeli warplanes early Friday on a Palestinian security compound.

The earlier strikes injured at least 17 people, including a 13-year-old boy sleeping in a nearby house, according to hospital officials. The IDF said the attack targeted a mortar-shell production factory in the compound, noting that eight mortars had been fired at Israeli communities in Gaza on Friday.

The violence marked the latest chapter in the struggle between Palestinians and Israel that began following a breakdown of peace talks 14 months ago.

CNN's Rula Amin reports the Palestinian Authority is under pressure at home and abroad to crack down on militants (December 7)

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In-Depth: Mideast Struggle for Peace 

The military and political clashes have intensified in the last week after suicide bombings claimed by Palestinian militant groups killed 25 Israelis last weekend. They prompted the Israeli cabinet to label the Palestinian Authority a "terrorist supporting entity" and sanction retaliatory strikes on the West Bank and Gaza.

On Friday, U.S. Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni convened a security meeting with Palestinian and Israeli security officials in Tel Aviv, Israel, outlining steps the United States wants the Palestinian Authority to take to curb terrorism.

Zinni was expected to deliver a list of 19 actions aimed at dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian territories in the next two days. The measures go beyond arrests and include a crackdown on weapons and weapon manufacturing sites.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops killed two Palestinians Friday near the village of Adiq on the West Bank, an area under Israeli security control, the IDF said.

Troops patrolling the area encountered two people the IDF termed "militants" -- one armed and the second masked. They were on their way to carry out an attack on a road near the village, an IDF spokesman said. Israeli forces opened fire and killed the two Palestinians.


• Israeli Government
• Palestinian Authority
• The White House
• U.S. Department of State
• Israel Defense Forces
• United Nations

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