GAZA (Reuters) – Israel launched five air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday after militants shot mortars and rockets at the Jewish state, witnesses and militant groups said.
At least five Palestinians were wounded, two of them children, medics said, in the raids which showed the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.
Hamas has stepped up rocket fire at Israel after a lengthy hiatus since a war of two years ago, claiming responsibility for the firings of more than two dozen mortars and rockets at the weekend.
Israel killed two Palestinians in Gaza in a separate border confrontation on Saturday, medical officials said.
The Israeli military confirmed one of Monday’s air raids, saying several Hamas-affiliated militants were targeted in northern Gaza, as well as a tunnel used to smuggle weapons.
Witnesses in Gaza said Israeli warplanes fire a missile after three mortars were shot at Israel, and the Israeli missile landed harmlessly in a bin for animal feed.
Israel fired four other missiles at as many targets later in the evening, aiming at a Hamas security compound in Gaza City, a training camp north of the city, and a brickworks and metal foundry in northern Gaza, witnesses said.
(ca.news.yahoo.com / 21.03.2011)