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Rocket fired from Gaza hits Israeli kibbutz

world Updated: Dec 24, 2010 16:07 IST

AFP
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A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip early Tuesday slammed into an Israeli kibbutz causing no injuries but sending a young child and elderly man into a state of shock, a military spokeswoman said.

Israeli media said the missile fell near a kindergarten in Kibbutz Zikim, a collective farm in southern Israel, but the spokeswoman could not immediately confirm the reports.

The attack was the latest in a series over the past several days and followed a night of retaliatory Israeli air strikes into Islamist-run Gaza, in which two Palestinian fighters were reported wounded.

Those raids came after Palestinian militants on Monday fired nine mortar shells into southern Israel that fell on open ground and caused no casualties, the Israeli army said.

Three air raids targeted the town of Khan Yunis in the south of the territory controlled by Hamas, wounding two fighters of the Ezzedin al Kassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas , one of them seriously, the army said.

The Israeli planes also attacked a tunnel between the Gaza Strip and Egypt near the southern town of Rafah, without causing any injuries.

Four other attacks were carried out in the north of the Palestinian territory targeting the Jabailya refugee camp and the towns of Beit Lahya, Beit Hanoun and Zeitoun, with no casualties reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman, questioned by AFP, spoke of seven air raids against tunnels used for smuggling weapons and "arms dumps used for terrorist attacks."

She described the raids as "reprisals for attacks on Israeli territory."

Israeli warplanes on Saturday night hit central Gaza, killing five militants as they were about to launch a rocket attack, according to the army and witnesses.

The raid was one of the deadliest since Israel's December 2008-January 2009 war on Gaza's Hamas rulers, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, which cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Since Operation Cast Lead, the number of rocket attacks has dropped considerably but the Israeli army says more than 200 rockets or shells have been fired this year.