( dpa ) - Israeli tank shelling killed a five-year-old Palestinian boy in the central Gaza Strip Sunday afternoon, Palestinian medical officials and witnesses said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv confirmed Israeli army ground forces had been operating in the area, and said there had been exchanges of fire with local militants.
The troops were attempting to clear the area of militants, including snipers who took up position to fire over the nearby border.
The witnesses said an Israeli tank stationed east of al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip fired one shell that struck a house in the refugee camp, killing the child, Abdullah Bahar, and wounding two other civilians.
They said the incident came shortly after Palestinian militants launched mortar shells Israeli soldiers on the border between Israel and central Gaza Strip.
The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad organization claimed responsibility for launching the mortar shells.