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Report: 2 injured as Israeli air strikes target Gaza City

Aug. 4, 2011 10:11 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 5, 2011 11:42 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Two Palestinians from an armed group were injured in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City on Thursday as Israeli air strikes hit the coastal enclave.

Local witnesses told Ma'an that a large explosion was heard in the Jabal Al-Rayes neighborhood east of Gaza City.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the strikes had targeted the "launch site of a grad rocket fired at Israel."

"A short while ago, a Grad rocket was fired from the northern Gaza Strip at the communities of the Hevel Lakhish Regional Council," an Israeli army statement said, with no injuries reported.

The latest air strike is the second to target the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Israeli warplanes launched two attacks Thursday morning on the bases of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch of Hamas, to the east and west of Gaza City.

The airstrikes on Thursday come amid recent escalations along the border as Israeli warplanes struck two targets Tuesday in the northern and southern parts of the coastal enclave. No injuries were reported.

The past month has seen an increase in rockets and other projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza after several months of calm following a flare-up in April when an anti-tank missile hit an Israeli school bus, killing a teenager.

Israel responded to that attack with a series of air strikes that killed at least 19 Palestinians in the deadliest violence since Israel's devastating 22-day assault on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009.

Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took control of the enclave in 2007. Rights agencies have condemned the blockade as a form of collective punishment.

AFP contributed to this report
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