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Gaza militants fire rockets at Israel
Updated: 2005-12-05 08:45

Palestinian militants fired two rockets from Gaza into an Israeli village Sunday evening, despite Israeli airstrikes earlier in the day launched in response to previous attacks.

There were no serious injuries, but the exchanges carried the danger of sudden escalation. The rockets hit an Israeli village four miles from the Gaza fence, demonstrating a longer range than usual for the homemade rockets.

The Israeli airstrikes Sunday were the first since Oct. 27, the military said.

After Israel withdrew from Gaza in September, destroying all 21 Jewish settlements there, Israeli leaders pledged to retaliate for any Palestinian attacks from the territory. The military moved artillery to the Gaza-Israel border and has been pounding areas used by militants to launch rockets.

Gaza militants fire rockets at Israel
Palestinians look at the damage in a building used by an association linked to the Islamic Jihad movement after it was hit by an Israeli missile strike early Sunday Dec. 4, 2005. [AP]
Early Sunday, Israel stepped up its attacks, sending its air force to blast Gaza targets three times. Palestinians said a bystander was slightly wounded in one of the strikes.

The military said one target was an Islamic Jihad charity that it called a front for terror-related activity. Missiles also hit open fields where homemade rockets had been launched in recent days, it said.

Later in the day, militants in northern Gaza fired two rockets at the village of Shuva, damaging a house.

Shuva is four miles from the border fence — farther from Gaza than previous targets — meaning that about a dozen Israeli villages are in rocket range.

The military said its artillery shelled an area near the Jebaliya refugee camp where the militants fired the rockets after sundown. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and a Hamas spokesman said the Islamic group was not behind the rocket attack.

Palestinian officials have said the attacks are a show of force by militants in the run-up to Jan. 25 Palestinian parliamentary elections.

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