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Day 6 of Gaza offensive: Israeli troops clash with Hamas militants in first ground assault

Published on Jul 13, 2014 3:14 PM
 
An explosion is seen in the northern Gaza Strip after an Israeli air strike on Sunday, July 13, 2014. Israeli naval commandos clashed with Hamas militants in a raid on the coast of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, in what appeared to be the first ground assault of a six-day Israeli offensive on the territory aimed at stopping Palestinian rocket fire. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GAZA/JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israeli naval commandos clashed with Hamas militants in a raid on the coast of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, in what appeared to be the first ground assault of a six-day Israeli offensive on the territory aimed at stopping Palestinian rocket fire.

With aerial support from fighter jets, the Israeli force attacked a site in northern Gaza used to launch long-range rockets, an Israeli military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, said. Militants opened fire, wounding four commandos, but the launch site was hit, he said.

Hamas said its fighters had fired at the Israeli force offshore, preventing them from landing.

Lerner said the forces had "completed their mission" and that the results of the raid "would be the first published ground activity" by naval troops in Gaza, in an offensive that Palestinian officials said has killed 149 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

 
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