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Hamas fighters force Israeli Special Forces to retreat from Gaza Strip

Hamas fighters announced on Monday morning that they had compelled a unit of Israeli Special Forces to retreat overnight along the eastern borders of Deir Al-Balah city, in the middle of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

The agency quoted a statement by Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, saying that one of its armed groups traded fire with the Israeli Special Forces while they were attempting to invade the Palestinian enclave.

"The Israeli Special Forces' unit was obliged to retreat after it was faced by heavy fire from Al-Qassam fighters," the statement said.

On Sunday morning, Israeli Special Forces from Shaytet Unit 13, the most elite of Israel's commando units, attempted to break into the north of Gaza City from the sea. However, faced by fire from Al-Qassam fighters, they also retreated. Four were lightly wounded.

Al-Qassam fighters only used light weapons and RPGs to defend the enclave, whereas Israeli warships and warplanes backed up the well-equipped Israeli forces during the operation.

Since the beginning of the Israeli assault on Gaza called "Operation Protective Edge", Israel has killed more than 170 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,200. Most of the Palestinian casualties are civilians, with large numbers of children and women.

There have been no reported Israeli deaths.

After a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet, Israeli leaders decided to continue and intensify their war on the Strip, ignoring a UN Security Council statement on Sunday calling for both sides to agree to a ceasefire.

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