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Israel bombs Hamas military sites in Gaza

June 20, 2012 7:18 P.M. (Updated: June 22, 2012 3:59 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel bombed two sites used by Hamas' military wing in Gaza on Wednesday evening.

Israeli airstrikes hit sites in Nuseirat and east of Jabalia used by the Al-Qassam Brigades, a Ma'an reporter said.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said two children were lightly injured in the attack near Jabalia.

The Israeli military said it hit two "terror sites" in the northern Gaza Strip in response to cross-border rocket fire.

Israel has killed eight Palestinians in Gaza since Monday in a series of airstrikes and tank shelling, including at least three teenagers as well as two Hamas militants.

The Al-Qassam Brigades says it has fired dozens of rockets and mortars at Israeli military targets since Tuesday in response to "the ongoing aggression against Palestinian people."

The barrage of rockets was the first fire from Hamas' brigades in over a year. In the past Hamas has discouraged smaller militant groups from firing at Israel.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said Tuesday that Israel's attacks prompted the group's military wing "to take a firm stance" and launch rockets.

Several other brigades have said they launched rockets into southern Israel since Monday, including the armed wings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said around 80 rockets have been fired across the Gaza border since Monday.

Israel's army chief Benny Gantz said Wednesday that the Israeli army was prepared to respond "to any threat, at any time."

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