Israel air strikes kill seven Gaza militants

  • AFP, Gaza City, Palestinian Territories
  • Updated: Jul 08, 2014 00:04 IST

Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed seven Palestinian militants, medics said on Monday, after recovering two more bodies from a collapsed tunnel in Rafah.

A further two militants were missing, feared dead, in the tunnel following the strikes, which came after a day in which armed groups fired at least 25 rockets and mortar rounds at southern Israel.

Two of the militants were killed east of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza in a missile strike, which came shortly before midnight (2100 GMT), witnesses said.

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Israel carries out airstrikes on Gaza strip?

The Israeli military confirmed targeting a group of people involved in "launching rockets from central Gaza."

Several hours later, two more militants were killed and two civilians wounded in a drone strike east of the southern city of Rafah which caused the collapse of a tunnel, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

The bodies of two more militants were pulled from the tunnel during the morning, with another two missing, he added.

The military wing of the Islamist movement Hamas, which dominates Gaza, said that in total six of of its militants were killed in that strike.

The army confirmed a series of raids across Gaza, saying they had targeted "nine terror sites and concealed rocket launchers."

In a separate drone strike in Rafah, another militant was critically wounded, later dying of his injuries, Qudra said.

Medics said five civilians were wounded in the northern town of Beit Hanun after a rocket fired by militants fell short of Israel.

The Israeli military said it had hit a total of 14 targets overnight. It said militants had fired an anti-tank missile at an army patrol by the border fence, causing no casualties.

"An IDF (army) patrol was attacked along the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. Initial indication suggests they were attacked with an RPG anti-tank missile and firearm. No injuries are currently reported," a statement said, adding that troops had returned fire.

Elsewhere, a soldier was lightly wounded by shrapnel after three rockets hit the Eshkol region which flanks the central and southern Gaza Strip.

Since midnight, militants in Gaza have fired 12 rockets at southern Israel.

The Gaza violence came as violence raged across annexed east Jerusalem and Arab towns in Israel following the kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teenager in a suspected revenge attack by Jewish extremists who burned him alive.

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