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An Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinian fire in the Gaza Strip.

Sgt. Ben Kubani, 20, was killed Wednesday while his Golani Brigade unit was conducting a ground operation in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis. In a separate incident, a Hamas militant was killed and several other Palestinians, including civilians, were wounded by a tank shell fired during the operation.

After meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticized Israel for its ongoing military operations.

“There is continuous Israeli aggression while our security forces are trying to impose law and order,” Abbas told reporters.

Military spokesmen said the Israeli operation in Gaza on Wednesday was conducted near the border fence with Israel. Israeli forces frequently enter the border area in Gaza to thwart terrorist activities.

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