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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Militant's Gaza Home Destroyed

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Israeli troops blew up the family home of a suspected Hamas militant in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and engaged in a firefight with Palestinian gunmen, the army and Palestinian hospital officials said.

At least four Palestinians, including an ambulance driver, were wounded in the clash in the town of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

Troops blew up the family home of Mahmoud Abu Huli, a member of the Islamic militant Hamas, who is wanted by Israel for allegedly carrying out shooting and mortar attacks on soldiers and Jewish settlements, as well as dispatching a gunman who killed a soldier in the Gaza Strip last week.

Seventeen people were left homeless by the demolition. Abu Huli himself remains at large, the Palestinian sources said. The army said it found mortar bomb parts in the house.

Israel often demolishes the homes of suspected militants and suicide bombers as part of a policy it says is meant to deter Palestinians from attacking Israelis.

In the West Bank, eight people were injured, one of them seriously, in clashes that broke out when Israeli soldiers imposed a curfew on Tulkarem, hospital officials said.

In the West Bank refugee camp of Dheisheh, Israeli soldiers went from house to house Tuesday, searching for wanted militants. Troops detained several foreigners, who had been staying at the Dheisheh home of a female suicide bomber to prevent its demolition.

Soldiers also patrolled Manger Square in nearby Bethlehem, and an armored personnel carrier was parked outside the Church of the Nativity, one of Christianity's holiest shrines.

Israeli forces reoccupied Bethlehem and adjacent refugee camps last week, in response to a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus that killed 11 passengers. The assailant was a Hamas activist from Bethlehem.

In overnight sweeps throughout the West Bank, Israeli soldiers arrested some 25 suspected militants, the army said. Since June, Israel has reoccupied most West Bank towns, off and on, in retaliation for suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis.