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Palestinian killed, 2 hurt in Israeli airstrike on Rafah

Nov. 16, 2012 11:41 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 18, 2012 10:57 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An Israeli airstrike on Rafah has killed one Palestinian and seriously injured two others, bringing the death toll to 29 in the Gaza Strip.

The strike hit three men riding a motorcycle, killing Khalid Khalil al-Shayer, 28, and seriously injuring two others.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said al-Shayer was a militant involved in anti-tank operations.

Earlier, Israel bombed the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip killing Hamas military leader Ahmad Abu Jalal, 43, his brother Majd Abu Jalal, 33, Ziad Farhan Abu Jalal, 23, and Hasan Salim al-Hulei, 27.

The attack followed airstrikes across the Gaza Strip that killed three Palestinians in the third day of bombardments.

Witnesses reported continuous raids throughout the Gaza Strip. Medical officials say 29 Palestinians have been killed since Wednesday.

Around 388 rockets have hit Israel and an additional 197 have been intercepted by the Iron Dome defense shield, the Israeli military says.

Rockets landed far north inside Israel and the occupied West Bank on Friday. One struck the Tel Aviv area and another in a bloc of illegal settlements near Bethlehem.

Israel's cabinet authorized on Friday mobilization of up to 75,000 reserve troops for a Gaza campaign, more than doubling the number of potential call-ups approved after the offensive began, political sources said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a four-hour strategy session with a clutch of senior ministers in Tel Aviv, while other cabinet members were polled by telephone on raising the mobilization level. The decision did not mean all 75,000 reservists would be called into action, but gave the military the go-ahead to enlist them if needed.

Israel's military has indicated it is gearing up for a prolonged operation in Gaza.

"The (Israeli army) is gathering forces ... according to pre-determined operational plans. The forces have been briefed and trained according to specific guidelines of the plan, and will operate until the mission has been completed," a military statement said.

Hamas, too, says it is not preparing to scale down its response to the assassination of Ahmad al-Jaabari on Wednesday. Al-Jaabari commanded Hamas' military wing.

"Things are different this time," Hamas leader Ahmad Yousef told Ma'an. "The rules of the game have changed."
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