GAZA CITY, Occupied Gaza Strip — Israel's army today staged a major show of force in the Gaza Strip, and Arab reports said at least three Palestinians, including an 8-year-old girl, were shot and wounded. An Israeli soldier was stabbed.
The army sent hundreds of soldiers and several tanks through the streets of Gaza City, the largest city in the Gaza Strip.
Soldiers opened fire during protests at the Jabaliya and Nusseirat refugee camps, wounding the girl and two 25-year-old men, officials at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City said.
One of the men was in serious condition after being shot in the back, the officials said. They said five teen-age Jabaliya residents suffered injuries from beatings. Army officials said they could not confirm the reports.
The army said an Israeli soldier patrolling the town of Rafah near the Egyptian border was stabbed when residents attacked his unit. The officials said soldiers opened fire and injured two attackers.
The army crackdown followed riots Tuesday in which soldiers shot and killed at least four Palestinians. Two protesters died in a clash at Shifa Hospital.
The Arab-run Palestine Press Service said today that soldiers fatally shot a fifth Palestinian, 17-year-old Najua al Masri, on Tuesday as she attended a protester's funeral.
It was the ninth straight day of violence in the occupied Gaza Strip, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, along with the West Bank. The violence has been among the worst in 20 years.
Elsewhere in Gaza City, soldiers using crowbars and chains tied to the backs of jeeps forced open stores that were shuttered in a strike against the army's shooting of demonstrators.
Soldiers from elite infantry units lined the road leading into the city of 150,000.