GAZA CITY -- Three Palestinians, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed in separate clashes with the Israeli army yesterday, and an Israeli soldier was killed when Palestinians shelled a Gaza Strip settlement.
The girl, Rania Iyad Aram of the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza, was on her way to school when she was killed, witnesses said. They said she was hit by machine-gun fire from an army outpost near the neighboring Jewish settlement of Ganei Tal.
The army said soldiers were firing toward an area where mortars were fired and said the incident was under investigation.
Earlier this week, the army completed a two-day operation against Palestinian militants firing mortars at Jewish settlements from the Khan Younis area. Seventeen Palestinians were killed.
In separate violence, militants fired several mortar shells near the Gaza settlement of Morag, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding six others, one of them seriously, the army said.
Palestinians have fired hundreds of mortars and homemade rockets into Israeli areas in recent months ahead of a planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Militants are hoping to give the impression that Israel is fleeing under fire. Israel has retaliated with large operations aimed at halting the rocket attacks and proving the army is not fleeing.
In the West Bank, troops shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian in the Jenin refugee camp, witnesses and the army said. He died at an Israeli hospital.
The army said he was armed, but Palestinians said he was carrying a stick. Troops entered Jenin late Wednesday in an operation the army said was designed to root out militants and would continue for a number of days.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, troops killed a Hamas militant in the town of Qalqiliya, the army and witnesses said. The army said troops shot the man after spotting three armed militants. The fate of the other two was not clear. Israel has frequently raided West Bank towns and refugee camps during four years of violence.