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Baby dies of wounds as strikes pound Gaza

Nov. 15, 2012 9:33 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 16, 2012 5:47 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A 10-month-old baby died on Thursday evening from wounds sustained in an Israeli airstrike, as fighter jets renewed their assault on the Gaza Strip.

Hanin Tafish died from injuries sustained when her home was struck in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza city on Wednesday, medics said.

Israel's army said it had hit around 70 rocket-launching sites in the course of an hour on Thursday evening, as the death toll rose to 16 since Israel assassinated a Hamas commander on Wednesday.

The aerial bombardment set off earth-shaking thuds and fireballs in the dark sky and were met with screeches of Palestinian rocket fire launched from the outskirts of Gaza City towards southern Israel.

One of the sites targeted was an electricity generator that fed the house of Hamas's prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. It was unclear whether he was at home at the time.

Israeli aircraft also bombed a police station in central Gaza and tunnels on Gaza's border with Egypt through which basic civilian goods and arms destined for militant groups pass into the Strip, which is under a tight blockade by Israel and Egypt.

Earlier Thursday, three people were injured in an Israeli raid on Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, witnesses said. Another two were injured in a strike on Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City. Israeli planes also struck the al-Nasr neighborhood , without reports of injuries.

Near Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, planes hit an open area and the Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi neighborhood. In Tel al-Zaatar, an airstrike hit a civilian home causing a large fire. Emergency services rushed to the scene.

Brigades claim hits

Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades said on Thursday evening it had downed at an Israeli reconnaissance plane over the eastern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

The brigades fired a surface-to-air missile at the aircraft during a raid on Gaza and claimed a direct hit.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately respond to request to comment.

Hours earlier, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another armed party in Gaza, launched two missiles against Tel Aviv -- the first time Israel's commercial capital has come under such attack since the 1991 Gulf War. No injuries or damage was reported.

Reuters contributed to this report
Ma'an News Agency
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