Hamas operative wounded in sea clash dies

A Hamas operative wounded by Israeli naval fire last week died of his wounds Thursday, Palestinian officials reported. Hospital officials and Hamas officials in Rafah, a coastal town on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, said the operative, 22, was badly wounded on Dec. 13 when an Israeli naval craft fired on a Palestinian vessel in the Mediterranean Sea. The Hamas officials did not say what the operative was doing on the boat. At the time of the incident, the army said an Israeli patrol boat identified a vessel suspected of smuggling, opening fire when the vessel ignored warning shots. The Israeli navy imposes a blockade on the area, saying the measure is necessary to prevent Palestinian terrorists from smuggling weapons into Gaza from Egypt.