More Fighting Reported in Gaza
United Press International
Fighting continued in the Gaza Strip Wednesday as pressure increased on Palestinian extremists to return body parts of six Israeli soldiers killed Tuesday.
Khaedr Habib, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, told reporters the remains the movement has would be transferred to Israel through the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat also reportedly asked diplomats for help in recovering the body parts, which were paraded through the streets of Gaza after Tuesday's explosion. Egypt was also trying to defuse the situation.
Arafat told the extremists this action contradicts with the principles of Islam and all other religions.
Although the militants said they wanted to use the bodies as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian prisoners, it appears the Israelis will only agree to the return of the bodies of Palestinians killed in the operation.
In the continued fighting, Islamic Jihad militants said they killed six more Israeli soldiers near the border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip, although Israeli forces only said several soldiers were hurt.
The fighting began earlier this week in the Gaza City neighborhood of Zaitoun. Israeli gunships killed more than half a dozen Palestinians during a raid on the neighborhood, while seeking rocket-making factories. Several more Palestinians were killed Wednesday in rocket attacks by Apache helicopters.
Israel news media said some parts of the six soldiers killed had been recovered, but most were still missing.
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