New Israeli strikes on Gaza, rocket fire at Israel

The rocket fire and retaliatory raids represented the first major uptick in violence since April.

Gaza City: Palestinian rockets thudded
into southern Israel again on Thursday in the latest round of
tit-for-tat fire across the Gaza border.

"There were two rockets that were fired in the
general direction of one of the kibbutzim," police spokesman
Micky Rosenfeld said, without reporting damage or

Earlier an unspecified "projectile" was fired from
Gaza into southern Israel, also causing no casualties, the
Israeli military said.

Israeli jets bombed three sites in Gaza yesterday
night in response to rocket fire from the coastal strip
earlier the same day, Palestinian officials and the military

The airstrikes were the second in as many days, as
rocket fire from Gaza into Israel increased after months of
relative quiet.

The military said its aircraft targeted three
tunnels, two used for smuggling in southern Gaza and one "used
for terrorist activity" in the north of the Palestinian

"The tunnels were targeted in response to the
firing of rockets at Israel`s southern communities during the
previous day," the military said.

Palestinian medical sources said five people were
moderately wounded in the strikes and two people were reported

The Israeli strikes overnight came after similar
air raids a day earlier.

The military said those strikes targeted two
"weapons manufacturing sites" in northern Gaza. Palestinian
medical sources said one woman was moderately injured in the

The rocket fire and retaliatory raids represented
the first significant uptick in violence in the area since
April, when tensions rose after an anti-tank missile fired
from Gaza hit an Israeli school bus, killing a teenager.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes that
killed at least 19 Palestinians in the deadliest violence
since Israel`s devastating 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip in
December 2008-January 2009.

The violence raised fears of another such assault,
but on April 10 the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip declared a
return to the truce that ended Israel`s "Operation Cast Lead"
in January 2009, and the calm has since largely held.


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