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One dead in Mideast raid

Rafah damage
A Palestinian surveys the damage sustained on his house in Rafah  

GAZA -- A Palestinian teenager has been killed during a raid on a refugee camp in Gaza.

Israel Defense Forces said tanks and bulldozers were used to flush out alleged gunmen in the four-hour operation early Wednesday morning.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is due to meet U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington later on Wednesday to discuss an Arab peace proposal.

The raid came at a Palestinian-controlled refugee camp in Rafah close to the Israeli-controlled Gaza-Egypt border. One Palestinian teenager was killed, and 14 others were hurt, including three children, said the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

  AUDIO

CNN's Jerrold Kessel: One Palestinian killed and eleven reported injured during Israeli incursion in Gaza

691 Kb/64 secs.
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  TIMELINES
graphic Recent acts of violence in the Middle East:
 • Bombings
 • Activist deaths
 

The IDF said the raid was a "pinpoint" operation in which it moved quickly in and out of the camp in response to attacks on Israeli border patrols by Palestinian police the day before in Rafah in which a Palestinian policeman was killed.

A teenager, named by news agencies as Mahmoud Agel, was killed and at least 10 others were injured during the incident at 2 a.m. (2300 GMT) on Wednesday.

The IDF would not reveal further details of the incident, but Palestinian witnesses said at least 10 buildings were destroyed and fierce fighting involving dozens of Palestinian gunmen occurred during the four-hour operation.

Israeli troops have moved briefly into areas of Gaza handed over to Palestinian rule under a 1994 peace deal several times in recent weeks.

Peres in the U.S.

Diplomatic peace efforts continue in Washington where the joint Egypt-Jordanian peace is to be discussed.

It calls for a series of confidence-building measures to end the fighting with the aim of ending the violence and restoring peace.

The Palestinians back the plan, but Israelis have reservations about the proposed blanket freeze on possible future building of settlements in Gaza and the West Bank and it opposes any resumption of peace talks before the violence ends.

But Peres was reported by Reuters as having told the Washington Institute of Near East Policy: "Sooner or later all of us will realise there is no alternative to sitting at the negotiating table."

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, speaking in Jordan after a meeting with King Abdullah, is reported by the Associated Press as saying he also hoped to reach a truce with Israel.



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RELATED SITES:
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Israeli Prime Minister's Office
Knesset, Israeli Parliament
Israel Defense Forces
Permanent Mission of Israel to the U.N.
Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian Red Crescent
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the U.N.
U.S. State Department, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
U.N. Question of Palestine home page
The E.U.'s Middle East Policy

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