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    Violence around Gaza after deadly Israeli raid in West Bank

    GAZA CITY, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES (AFP) – The Israeli army and Palestinian militants traded air strikes and rocket fire in and around Gaza yesterday, a day after the deadliest Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in nearly 20 years.

    Eleven Palestinians, including a 16-year-old, were killed and more than 80 wounded by gunfire on Wednesday when Israeli troops raided the flashpoint West Bank city of Nablus, drawing international appeals for calm.

    Top Palestinian official Hussein Al Sheikh described the raid as a “massacre” and called for “international protection for our people”.

    Before dawn yesterday, Palestinian militants hit back firing six rockets from Gaza into Israel.

    The Israeli army said it managed to intercept five of them, while the sixth struck an uninhabited area. Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for the rockets after it called on “resistance forces” to respond to the “major crime” in Nablus.Two hours later, the Israeli military carried out air strikes on multiple targets in Gaza, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.

    The missiles targetted “a weapons factory” and a “military camp”, both run by Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, the army said in a statement.

    United Nations (UN) Chief Antonio Guterres appealed for calm, warning that tensions in the West Bank had reached their most dangerous level in years.

    Smoke from fires fills the air as Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus. PHOTO: AP
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