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Israeli warplanes strike in Gaza, three children lightly injured

Israel Materials 2 April 2010 12:06 (UTC +04:00)
Israeli fighter jets overnight struck four buildings in the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement.
Israeli warplanes strike in Gaza, three children lightly injured

Israeli fighter jets overnight struck four buildings in the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement, DPA reported.

An Israeli military spokesman in Tel Aviv said Friday the nightly airstrikes were retaliation for rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza into southern Israel on Thursday.

He said the targets were a weapons manufacturing site in Gaza City and another in in the central Gaza Strip, along with two warehouses used by militants for storing rockets in the southern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses in Gaza, however, said the building struck in Gaza City was, in fact, the Daloul dairy factory, in the southern neighbourhood of Sabra. The factory was destroyed, they said. Three children in a nearby shack were reported lightly injured by flying glass.

The witnesses said that the central Gaza Strip strike hit the site of a former Jewish settlement, evacuated when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. The nearby Asda media city, which houses the headquarters of Hamas' al-Aqsa Television was damaged.

Palestinian militants have built training bases in some of the former Jewish settlements evacuated in 2005.

A mobile police guard-duty hut along central Gaza's Salah a-Din street caught fire, the witnesses said.

The two warehouses hit were north of the border town of Rafah and south of Khan Younis.

Witnesses said they heard F-16 warplanes flying over the coastal enclave and a series of successive explosions at around midnight.

The Israeli military reported an increase in rockets fired from Gaza over the past month, after a relatively calm year that followed a deadly and devastating three-week Israeli offensive in the coastal salient in the winter of 2008-2009.

A military statement said nearly 20 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip in March, killing a foreign Thai worker in the community of Netiv Ha'Asara.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the state of Israel and will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against it. The IDF holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip," read the statement.

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