Troops kill Gaza policemen

Gaza Strip - Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian policemen and wounded two more yesterday in thick fog near the Erez border crossing between Israel and the autonomous Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said.

It was the first time Israeli forces have killed Palestinian policemen since the Israel-PLO autonomy agreement took effect in Gaza and the West Bank town of Jericho in May.

Military and Palestinian sources said the shooting occurred when Israeli soldiers, fired on by assailants with automatic weapons, entered Gaza in the direction of the village of Beit Hanoun in search of the attackers.

Earlier yesterday, Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians in a firefight in Bethlehem in the West Bank, Israeli military sources said. A third Palestinian was wounded, but escaped.

Meanwhile a Palestinian supporter of Hamas was killed by Israeli troops in a gunbattle near Hebron in the West Bank and 10 others were wounded in clashes which followed, Palestinian sources said.