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Israelis kill 7 in Gaza raid, Palestinians say

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BEIT HANOUN, Gaza (CNN) -- Israeli forces killed a senior Palestinian militant commander and six others Monday in northern Gaza, Palestinian security sources said.

The raid happened in Beit Hanoun, the sources said.

The Israeli military confirmed its forces exchanged fire with militants around Beit Lahiya, a Palestinian village near Beit Hanoun, and hit 10 of them. The military did not give the conditions of those shot.

Palestinian witnesses said a small unit of Israeli special forces entered Beit Hanoun in search of Ata Shanbari, senior commander of the Nasr Salah Al-Din Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees.

Shanbari was visiting his father's home at the time, Palestinian sources said.

Gunbattles ensued when residents discovered the Israeli special forces unit, the sources said. Israeli tanks entered the area shortly afterward and shelled the house of Shanbari's father, killing the senior commander and two of his brothers, the sources said.

Israeli helicopters then killed another relative of Shanbari's and two neighbors before pulling out under fire, sources said.

Another Palestinian also died in the raid, sources said. The circumstances of that death remained unclear.

Twenty-two were wounded in the fighting, Palestinian hospital sources said. All but eight were treated and released.

Israel has launched numerous operations into Gaza since the June 25 capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid. The military campaign has been aimed at securing Cpl. Gilad Shalit's release and ending Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel.

CNN's Ben Wedeman contributed to this report.

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