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Armed groups in Gaza claim attacks on Israel

Dec. 20, 2010 2:06 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 21, 2010 4:51 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees said Monday that it shelled two Israeli military posts on the Gaza-Israel border a day earlier.

The Salah Ad-Din Brigades said in a statement that it “shelled a group of tanks with nine mortar shells near Karem Shalom, east of Rafah. Another group fired two mortars on the Abu Safeiyah post east of Al-Bureij."

The brigades said the attack was in response to "Israeli crimes" and affirmed its fighters would not "stand with arms folded in the face of an assassination policy, the latest of which targeted five residents Saturday."

A group affiliated to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it fired three shells at an Israeli military base east of Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza City.

The National Resistance Brigades said in a statement that the shelling was in retaliation for Sunday's attack. The statement urged other groups to “form a united resistance front with one political agenda in order to respond to the crimes committed by occupation and to free Palestinian resistance from disagreement.”

Israel's army said Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired seven mortar shells into southern Israel on Monday but they fell on open ground, causing no casualties.

Two mortar rounds were fired at Israel on Sunday, hours after Israeli warplanes Saturday night hit central Gaza, killing five militants as they were about to launch a rocket attack, according to the army and witnesses.

The airstrike was one of the deadliest since Israel's 22-day war against Gaza's Hamas rulers, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, which began at the end of December 2008 and cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, most of them 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.

AFP contributed to this report.
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