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Israel launches Gaza incursion



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GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Israeli tanks and bulldozers, backed up by Apache helicopters, launched an incursion into Palestinian-controlled Gaza near the Rafah refugee camp early Friday morning, Palestinian security sources said.

About 30 tanks were involved in the incursion, with Apaches firing from the air, the sources said. No injuries have so far been reported.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces.

In the past, the IDF has said it has moved into Gaza to shut down tunnels used for smuggling arms into the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, the "road map" for Mideast peace may soon be back on track if Palestinians come through on critical obligations, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said U.S. officials told Palestinian leaders Thursday.

The West Bank talks are aimed at breathing life back into the peace process. Participants gave no specifics about what was discussed at the meeting in Jericho.

But Erakat said the U.S. envoys sent a clear message that if Palestinian leadership does its job by cracking down on terrorist groups and implementing key structural and economic reforms, then Israel's proposed withdrawal from Gaza may be only the beginning of a wider pullout that could eventually lead to an independent Palestinian statehood. (Full story)


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