GAZA CITY ø Israel's military has resumed its search for weapons
tunnels that connect the Gaza Strip to neighboring Egypt.
An Israeli force entered Rafah overnight Sunday and raided Palestinian
homes and other targets in search for weapons tunnels. Palestinian
insurgents responded with gunfire and grenades and at least one Palestinian
was killed. The Palestinian was identified as a leading operator of the
The military estimates that the Palestinians have operated about a dozen
tunnels. Nearly half of them were said to have been found and sealed or
[On Sunday, Israeli authorities reported the discovery of an Israeli
Arab cell sponsored by Hizbullah that had planned suicide strikes, Middle East Newsline reported. The
insurgents, based outside the northern city of Nazareth, were identified as
members of the political party of an Israeli Arab parliamentarian, Azmi
Over the weekend, two leading Islamic insurgents were killed. On
Saturday, an Islamic Jihad insurgent, identified as Aziz Shami, was killed
in an Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip. Shami, a nephew of Jihad leader
Abdullah Shami, was said to have planned the attack on the Israeli community
of Netsarim in October 2003 and intended a repeat strike.
Shami, 37, was killed by a missile fired by an Israeli AH-64A attack
helicopter toward a carload of Jihad insurgents. A 12-year-old was also said
to have been killed in the missile attack.
This was the first Israeli air operation against Palestinian insurgents
in the Gaza Strip since Dec. 30, 2003 when Israel failed to assassinate a
senior Hamas operative. Shami was also said to have escaped a previous
Israeli assassination attempt.
Earlier, Hamas said Abdul Nasser Muslem Abu Shoka, 37, commander of the
movement in the central Gaza Strip, was killed on Thursday in an explosion
in his home in the Bureij refugee camp. Abu Shoka was identified as Hamas's
commander in the central Gaza Strip.
Later, Hamas, which blamed Israel for the death of Abu Shoka, fired
Kassam-class short-range missiles at Israeli
targets in the Gaza Strip.