Israel to allow lull in Gaza fighting

Jan. 10, 2009 at 7:04 AM

GAZA, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Israeli troops were to set to allow a lull in Gaza hostilities Saturday after killing 15 men identified as "Hamas terrorists" in fighting, officials said.

An Israeli Army spokesman said it would institute a three-hour suspension of its military actions in Gaza Saturday afternoon to allow residents to gather supplies, the third time in since the beginning of its attacks on Hamas 15 days ago that Israel has paused for a short periods to allow for humanitarian needs, CNN reported.

An IDF statement issued Saturday said Israeli infantry, tanks, artillery, engineering and intelligence corps killed 15 "operatives" of the Palestinian militant group Hamas overnight, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The statement said snipers fired at Israeli soldiers and that its troops returned fire, reporting a hit. Mortar rounds were also exchanged in the combat, it said. Five Israeli soldiers were reported "lightly wounded."

The IDF also said the Israeli air force attacked 40 targets overnight, hitting 10 rocket launchers, some of which reportedly were used to target troops. Fourteen weapons caches and storage facilities were targeted, as were five tunnels.

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