Factional Fighting, Israeli Air Strikes Rock Gaza Fighting flared again Sunday in Gaza after Palestinians slipped across the border and attempted to kidnap an Israeli soldier. The attempt failed, but Israel retaliated with air raids. Meanwhile, new, deadly gun battles broke out between Palestinian factions.
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Factional Fighting, Israeli Air Strikes Rock Gaza

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Factional Fighting, Israeli Air Strikes Rock Gaza

Factional Fighting, Israeli Air Strikes Rock Gaza

Factional Fighting, Israeli Air Strikes Rock Gaza

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/10919661/10919662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Fighting flared again Sunday in Gaza after Palestinians slipped across the border and attempted to kidnap an Israeli soldier. The attempt failed, but Israel retaliated with air raids.

Meanwhile, new, deadly gun battles broke out between Palestinian factions, threatening the shaky truce between Hamas and Fatah.

A year ago, Palestinian militants entered Israel from the Gaza Strip. They killed two Israeli soldiers and captured a third, who is still believed to be alive.

This weekend, four gunmen from Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades managed to infiltrate into Israel. Israeli troops opened fire on the men. One militant was killed. The other three got away. Israeli aircraft retaliated early Sunday morning.

Israel is keeping up the pressure on Gaza militant groups. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israeli forces will continue to operate in Gaza. Israeli officials say they're concerned by this weekend's attempt to capture an Israeli soldier.

A spokesman for Islamic Jihad says the militants tried to capture an Israeli soldier and take him into Gaza. The Israeli soldier Hamas captured last year is still being held. Hamas is demanding the release of 1,400 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for him.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials say the weekend's clashes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah have left at least three Palestinians dead. It has been the worst internal fighting in Gaza since a cease-fire was declared almost a month ago.

Hamas and Fatah blamed each other for starting the fighting. A leading Palestinian human rights group says more than 600 Palestinians have been killed in factional fighting since Hamas defeated Fatah in elections a year and a half ago.