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9 killed in overnight strikes

Nov. 17, 2012 12:44 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 17, 2012 10:17 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed nine Palestinians early Saturday, medical officials said, raising the death toll in Gaza to 39 since Israel sparked violence by assassinating a Hamas leader.

Airstrikes killed three members of Hamas' armed wing in central Gaza's al-Maghazi refugee camp and five others in Rafah in the south, medical officials said.

The deaths and injuries came amid a massive Israeli air assault targeting the Gaza Strip that damaged the headquarters of the government and a police station.

Medical officials said Saturday that the death toll stood at 39 after the bombardments.

Despite the violence, Tunisia's foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem arrived in the coastal enclave early Saturday in a show of Arab solidarity, heading to a hospital to visit the wounded. The Tunisian official also visited the office building of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.

Israeli missiles also destroyed the home of Hamas leader Suleiman Salah in Jabaliya refugee camp.

Medics said 30 injured people were removed from under the rubble of the three-story house. Medics and rescue teams were still searching the rubble Saturday.

Israeli jets also targeted home of a Hamas’ militant in al-Adas neighborhood north of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. A mosque and a house in al-Bureij refugee camp were also bombarded injuring five people.

Israeli warplanes launched multiple raids on the tunnel area between Gaza and Egypt south of Rafah. There were no reports of injury in those attacks.

Warplanes bombed farmland in Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya as well as in Khan Younis.

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