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Palestinian hurt in fresh Israeli strike on northern Gaza

Raid follows three air strike targeting Gaza City and tunnels in Rafah in response to rocket launches from the territory

AFP , Thursday 24 Mar 2011

One Palestinian was injured on Thursday in an Israeli airstrike on in northern Gaza. The strike hit an open area between Gaza City and the northern settlement of Beit Layiha from which militants were trying to fire rockets into Israel, medical sources and witnesses told AFP.

The injured man was a local commander of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, the Nasser Brigades, who was trying to fire rockets towards the port of Ashkelon, the group said in a statement.

The army confirmed the strike, with a spokeswoman saying the military had "targeted a group of people launching rockets" in northern Gaza. The air raid came hours after Israeli jets staged three strikes on Gaza, causing no casualties, Palestinian sources said.

Two of the raids hit targets in Gaza City while a third hit tunnels in Rafah on the southern border with Egypt. Since Saturday, militants have fired at least 26 rockets and mortars into southern Israel, including two which hit the southern desert city of Beersheva, home to 186,000 people.

For the most part, the rocket fire was claimed by the Al Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, which has vowed to strike ever deeper into Israel following a series of deadly Israeli raids on Gaza City earlier this week which killed four militants and four civilians.

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