Israeli troops return to Rafah camp
( 2003-10-14 10:51) (Agencies)
Israeli troops and armor rolled into a strategic
Gaza Strip refugee camp on Tuesday in an apparent resumption of what the army
had called an open-ended operation to uncover arms-smuggling tunnels.
Palestinian witnesses said at least 40 tanks and armored personnel carriers
entered Rafah, a militant bastion on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, from its
Salaam and Uraiba districts, encountering little resistance.
Israeli forces took large areas of the camp on Thursday and quit three days
later, having killed eight Palestinians in clashes and left more than 1,000
homeless after demolishing buildings to uncover tunnels.
Rafah sees intensive arms smuggling by Palestinians waging a more than
three-year-old uprising for independence. Gaza was captured by Israel along with
the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israeli officials last week accused Rafah militants of trying to acquire
shoulder-launched missiles that could end up in the West Bank and threaten
But while the army said it discovered and destroyed three tunnels from nearby
Egypt in the first raid, no such ordnance was found.