Sunday, November 19, 2006

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BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israel called off airstrikes on the homes of two militants Sunday after hundreds of Palestinians crowded around the buildings forming human shields, a new tactic that forced the army to re-evaluate its aerial campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians began to gather around the homes shortly after the Israeli army ordered occupants out of them. Israel routinely issues such warnings before attacking buildings that it says are used to store weapons, saying it wants to avoid casualties.

Instead of leaving the buildings, the homeowners remained inside and were quickly joined by crowds of supporters who gathered on balconies, rooftops and in the streets outside.

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