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Israeli airstrikes kill 3 in Gaza

March 11, 2012 9:46 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2012 12:20 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli airstrikes on Sunday killed three people in the Gaza Strip, including a 12-year-old boy, as cross-border violence continued for a third day.

Medical spokesman in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya said Ayoub Useila, 12, was killed in Jabalia refugee camp. His seven-year-old cousin was injured in the attack and taken to Kamal Udwan hospital in Jabalia, north Gaza.

Israeli warplanes also fired on the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, killing Ahmad Deib Salim, 24. He was a known militant, Abu Salmiya said.

Gazan farm keeper Adel al-Issi, 52, was also killed midday on Sunday when Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a field in Gaza City, Abu Salmiya said, bringing the death toll since Friday evening to 18.

Israel's army said it had targeted a terrorist "moments before firing a Grad rocket at the city of Ashdod."

Earlier, the Israeli army said that it had targeted a "terrorist squad" preparing to fire rockets from northern Gaza. It also confirmed a direct hit on "two rocket launching sites, in the northern Gaza Strip, used by terror organizations."

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there had been a total of five airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

On Saturday evening, Israel's army said that it had targeted a "weapon storage facility" in northern Gaza.

Six more projectiles were fired from Gaza on Sunday, an Israeli police spokesman said.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, said it had fired most of the rockets and mortars.

Gaza militants have responded to Israel airstrikes with more than 100 rockets since Friday, injuring six Israelis, one of them seriously.

A Palestinian official speaking on condition of anonymity said Egypt had begun mediating a ceasefire on Sunday. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry had no comment.

"Israel said it was willing to end this round of violence if rockets from Gaza stopped," the Palestinian official said on Sunday.

"Palestinian factions also told Egypt they were not interested in escalation and that they did not start the round, but Israel cannot decide to end it whenever it wants to do so."

Reuters contributed to this report
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