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Middle East

Gaza hit by Israeli air raids after clashes

Eleven wounded in air raids in Gaza, after worst clashes in East Jerusalem for months following death of Palestinian.

Last updated: 03 Jul 2014 11:51
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The pre-dawn raids came after nearly a dozen rockets struck southern Israel [AP]

Eleven People have been wounded in Israeli air raids in Gaza, as Palestinians prepared for the funeral of a teenager who was killed in occupied East Jerusalem.

The air raids in Gaza began as residents were preparing pre-dawn Ramadan meal, knows as Sohour, on Thursday. "Eleven people were wounded during the night, including one who is in serious condition," a spokesman for the Gaza health authority said, adding seven were hurt in Beit Lahiya in the north and four in Gaza City.

The Israeli military said the air force struck 15 "terror sites" in Gaza. "The targets included weapons manufacturing sites as well as training facilities," a military spokesman said.

The pre-dawn raids came after at least 15 rockets struck southern Israel, two of which were intercepted by Israel's anti-missile system, the army said.

Police said that one of the rockets hit a house in Sderot, causing a power cut. The army reported no injuries.

The armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades said in a statement that had they fired rockets.

'Israeli escalation'

They said they were "in response to the ongoing Israeli escalation against our people in Gaza and West Bank" - a reference to clashes in East Jerusalem after the murder of Mohammed Abu Khudair early on Wednesday.

The murder sparked violence in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, with Palestinians saying that the 17-year-old's murder was a revenge attack for three Israeli settlers found dead near Hebron earlier this week.

According to figures from Dr Amin Abu Ghazali, the head of field operations for the Red Crescent in East Jerusalem, 232 people were wounded during the clashes, 178 of them in Shuafat alone.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said it was clear that Khdair was killed by Jewish settlers and called on Israel to bring the killers to justice.

An investigation into the disappearance and murder of the teenager was launched by Israeli police after the prime minister,  Benjamin Netanyahu, demanded a swift probe of what he called a "reprehensible murder". 

Khdair's family said he was abducted on Wednesday shortly before a charred body was found in a Jerusalem forest. Police were still working to identify the body on Thursday.

"The investigation is continuing in order to determine whether this was criminal or nationalistic," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

With additional reporting from Fares Akram.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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