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Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza Strip

The strikes targeted two weapons factories in central and northern Gaza and a smuggling tunnel under the border with Egypt, an Israeli army spokesman said.

November 22, 2009|Reuters

Gaza Strip — Israeli planes carried out airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip today, injuring seven people, Palestinian medical workers said.

An Israeli army spokesman said the strikes had targeted two factories in central and northern Gaza used to make weapons and a smuggling tunnel under the border with Egypt.

The spokesman said the airstrikes were in response to a rocket fired from Gaza Saturday. The rocket landed near the city of Sderot, causing no injuries or damage, he said.

Palestinians and medical workers said the targets included a metal foundry in the central Gaza Strip and smuggling tunnels in the south.

The attacks occurred one day after Hamas, which governs the territory, said it had reached an agreement with smaller armed groups in the territory to halt sporadic rocket fire toward Israel.

There has been relative calm along the Israel-Gaza frontier since Israel ended a 22-day war in Gaza against Hamas in the territory in January with the aim of halting daily rocket fire.

The Israeli military usually responds to sporadic rocket attacks with airstrikes against tunnels used to smuggle goods and weapons into Gaza.

Egypt has been trying to mediate a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas that would include the release of an Israeli soldier held in Gaza since 2006 for hundreds of Palestinians jailed in Israel.

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