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Israeli airstrike kills 1, injures 13 in Gaza City

Dec. 9, 2011 9:57 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 10, 2011 5:08 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed a man in the central Gaza Strip early Friday morning, and injured 13 members of his family, medical officials said.

A Ma’an correspondent said Israeli war planes struck a site used by Hamas armed wing Al-Qassam brigades northwest of Gaza City, which caused severe damage to the house of the al-Zaalan family.

Medical spokesman in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya said the raid killed Bahjat al-Zaalan, 38, and injured 13 from his family, including 7 children.

Two of Bahjat’s children are seriously injured, and a 57-year-old man was moderately injured, he said.

In the southern Gaza Strip, an Israeli war plane fired a missile at al-Muharrarat district of Rafah, with no injuries reported.

An Israeli army statement said planes "targeted two terror activity sites."

Later, a military spokeswoman said "additional explosions were caused by rockets near the targeted site, and the (army) regrets that non combatants were harmed during the course of this incident," but said it holds Hamas accountable for operating in a residential area.

Five projectiles fired from Gaza struck Israel on Thursday in the aftermath of a deadly airstrike on central Gaza, an Israeli military official said.

The armed wing of Fatah said it fired a missile toward the Negev amid Israeli shelling in central Gaza, after the airstrike killed a member of the group and one other person the same day.

Two more were injured in the explosion, which witnesses said hit a parked car near Omar al-Mukhtar street in Gaza City.

Israel's military said the two killed were affiliated to a group planning an attack on the country through Egypt, but Gaza's government called the strike a "crime" and called for international protection for Gaza's people.

"The enemy wants to export its internal and external crises to Gaza, and it wants to impose a new formula on the resistance after it won in the prisoner’s deal," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

The Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman told Ma’an late Thursday that Egypt was trying to stop Israeli attacks in order to renew a truce between the sides, which he said had been "reversed by Israel" by the deadly airstrike.

Egypt often brokers between the Israel and Gaza amid cross border violence, which killed four and injured 15 in the blockaded strip during November.

Friday morning's violence was the third day of deadly airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, and killed the fourth Gaza resident in the first week of December.

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