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Middle East
Israeli fighter jets attack Gaza
Air raids hit targets in several parts of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory, injuring several fighters.
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2010 22:24 GMT
The raids targeted the town of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, governed by Hamas [AFP]

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes in retaliation to rocket attacks launched from the territory.

Up to seven different Gazan targets were hit overnight on Monday and on Tuesday, according to the Israeli military.

Authorities in Gaza said that eight Palestinian fighters were wounded.

Another rocket was subsequently fired from Gaza into Israel, injuring a 16-year-old girl.

The raids came after the Israeli army accused Palestinian fighters of firing nine mortar shells on Monday into southern Israel, which fell on open ground and caused no deaths.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, says it has tried to curb rocket fire at Israel, but smaller groups
continue to carry out such attacks.

Three Israeli raids targeted the town of Khan Younis in the south of the Palestinian enclave, wounding two fighters of the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, one of them seriously, the sources said.

Several airstrikes

Four other attacks were carried out in the north of Gaza, targeting the Jabailya refugee camp and the towns of Beit Lahya, Beit Hanoun and Zeitoun, with no casualties reported.

The Israeli jets also attacked a tunnel between the Gaza Strip and Egypt near the southern town of Rafah, without causing any injuries.

An Israeli military spokeswoman, contacted by the AFP news agency, spoke of seven air attacks against tunnels used for smuggling weapons and "arms dumps used for terrorist attacks".

She described the raids as "reprisals for attacks on Israeli territory".

Nine mortar rounds were fired at southern Israel from Gaza on Monday, without hurting anyone, the Israeli military spokeswoman said.

Earlier, on Saturday night, Israeli jets struck central Gaza, killing five fighters as they were about to launch a rocket attack, according to the Israeli army.

The raid was one of the deadliest since Israel's December 2008-January 2009 war on the Gaza Strip, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, which cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Since Israel's war on Gaza, the number of rocket attacks has has gone down considerably. The Israeli army says more than 200 rockets or shells have been fired since the beginning of this year.

Source:
Agencies
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