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1 dead, 3 injured in Israeli airstrike on southern Gaza

June 29, 2014 9:24 P.M. (Updated: June 30, 2014 11:37 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian was killed and three others were injured as Israeli warplanes struck al-Qarara in the southern Gaza Strip late Sunday, a Ma'an reporter and Israel's army said.

Medical sources said the victims had been evacuated from the site of the attack.

The Israeli military said in a statement that "aircraft just targeted terrorists in the southern Gaza Strip, during their final preparations to launch rockets at civilian communities of southern Israel."

An Israeli army spokesman told Ma'an that he could not confirm whether or not the strike killed a Palestinian.

Earlier Sunday evening, militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into southern Israel, two of which were intercepted by Israeli's Iron Dome anti-missile system, Israeli media and the Israeli army said.

Two mortar shells fired from Gaza also landed in Israeli territory, the Israeli news site Ynet said.

The army said on Twitter that Gaza militants also opened fire at soldiers near the border with Israel, adding that soldiers responded by returning fire "at a suspect in the vicinity."

No damage or injuries were caused by any of the attacks, Ynet said.

Israel had launched airstrikes against 12 sites in Gaza the night before, lightly injuring two people.

On Saturday evening, four rockets fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel, one of them hitting a factory and causing a fire.

On Friday, two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a car in a refugee camp near Gaza City. The army said the two were had been involved in firing rockets at Israel in recent days.

The back-and-forth attacks came amid increased tensions in the West Bank, as Israel toned down a massive military search campaign for three missing Israelis.

The campaign, the largest deployment in the West Bank since the early 2000s, has left eight Palestinians dead, more than 130 wounded, and more than 560 detained.

It has included near-nightly airstrikes on Gaza as Israeli forces pound the besieged enclave in response to rocket attacks by militants angry about the West Bank offensive.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the Israeli attack was a shelling. In fact, it was an airstrike.
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