Israeli Troops 'Shot
10-Year-Old Girl In Face'

By Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
The Guardian - UK

The killing of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl, shot dead in the playground of her school in southern Gaza yesterday, threatened to undermine a tentative truce after Hamas blamed the Israeli army and retaliated by firing mortars into a Jewish settlement.
Noran Iyad Deeb was shot in the face as she lined up for assembly at the UN-run school in Rafah refugee camp. A second girl was hit in the hand.
Palestinian officials blamed Israeli troops. The UN said it could not identify the source of the gunfire for certain but that shooting was heard from the direction of Israeli posts in the militarised border area.
After investigating, an army spokesman said: "According to our examination, the girl apparently was not shot by Israeli army gunfire."
A few hours after Noran's death, Hamas fired several mortar shells into the Neve Dekalim settlement in Gaza, damaging a building.
Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas's military wing, told Reuters the mortars were fired in retaliation for the death of Noran, the fourth child in two years to have been killed inside UN schools in Gaza refugee camps.
* Israel's attorney general, Meni Mazuz, has ordered an urgent review of a government decision, kept secret until this month, to seize thousands of acres of Palestinian-owned land around East Jerusalem. Mr Mazuz said he was not consulted about the decision to declare that Palestinians separated from their property by the West Bank barrier fall under a law stripping them of their land because they are deemed to be "absent" from it.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005



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