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Israel Defense Forces troops yesterday shot and killed two Palestinians who were trying to cross through the perimeter fence around the Gaza Strip. Military sources believe the two men - identified as Wahil Sakar Abu Dahruj and Yussef al-Bali, both from the Jabalya refugee camp area - were laborers who were trying to infiltrate into Israel in an effort to find illegal work.

Prior to the incident, IDF scouts spotted the tracks of six individuals on the Palestinian side of the fence, west of Sderot, and troops mounted a manhunt. A short while later, the soldiers spotted two Palestinians in an off-limits area close to the fence. The troops then opened fire, killing the two men.

IDF sources said the firing had been preceded by the proper rules of engagement and that the two men had failed to respond to the soldiers' orders.

Soldiers also arrested a third Palestinian trying to infiltrate into Israel, and were searching for three others who had crossed into Israeli territory nearby, the army said. Palestinian medical and security sources reported they had been informed by Israel to send an ambulance to pick up the two bodies.

Also in the Gaza Strip, IDF troops entered the outskirts of the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the early hours of yesterday morning, using bulldozers to raze an abandoned building and a number of uncompleted houses said to be used as cover for cells launching mortar attacks on Katif Bloc settlements, as occured Saturday night and Sunday morning.

An explosive device hurled at the troops lightly wounded two soldiers.

Palestinian sources said that in addition to the homes, the IDF had also destroyed infrastructure in the refugee camp, leaving many of its residents without electricity or water. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said some 200 people had been left homeless by the IDF operation.

In the West Bank yesterday, IDF troops and police dismantled an unmanned outpost south of Nablus. The operation was met with violent resistance on the part of dozens of so-called "hilltop youth," four of whom were arrested.

The dismantled outpost, known as Havat Shaked and located close to the Yitzhar settlement, was made up of a group of buildings including a sheep pen and a chicken coop.

Military sources said that preparations underway for dismantling and evacuating the next group of illegal outposts were progressing in more earnest than in the past. The Central Command is readying to move on a number of outposts this week, including one that is populated.

Palestinian hurt at garbage dump

A 17-year-old Palestinian youth, Salima Matri, was seriously hurt yesterday when a garbage truck driver inadvertently emptied the contents of his vehicle on the young man at the Matte Binyamin rubbish dump, close to Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood.

Youths and poor families frequent the rubbish dump daily, seeking remains of food and other items.

The boy received initial treatment on the scene, and was then evacuated unconscious, to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.