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Israeli forces have killed six Palestinians and wounded two others in two separate attacks in the Gaza Strip in less than 12 hours, Palestinian paramedics said on Thursday morning.
Four Palestinians were attacked by an Israeli drone while they were driving at Al-Burij refugee camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night. Three were killed and the fourth sustained severe injuries.
Although they belonged to a Palestinian faction, witnesses confirmed that they were not carrying arms at the time of the attack. The media reported a spokesman of the Israeli army saying that the men "were intending to fire rockets" at Israeli settlements near the beleaguered territory.
In another incident, three other Palestinians were shot dead in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun on Thursday morning and a fourth suffered serious injuries. An official from the Ministry of Health in Gaza said that one of the casualties had called the Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance Services (PRCAS) asking for help before he died. Heavy fire from the Israelis made it difficult for the Red Crescent to reach the casualties. Ambulances were fired on by Israeli tanks, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health. "The Palestinian Red Crescent Society asked the International Red Cross to intervene with the Israelis but they were too late to save those who were killed," he said.
Israel claimed that the four Palestinians targeted were intending to plant explosive devices near the Green (Armistice) Line; however, witnesses said that they were civilians and did not belong to any Palestinian faction.
Meanwhile, Israeli ground forces carried out several limited incursions in the border areas of the Gaza Strip, but no additional casualties were reported.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad