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Gaza father, daughter hurt in Israeli raid: medics
by Staff Writers
Gaza City, Palestinian Territories (AFP) Dec 11, 2011

A Palestinian father and his daughter were wounded in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City early on Sunday, Palestinian medics said.

The two were hurt when their home was hit in a raid that apparently targeted a neighbouring building in the Zeitun neighbourhood.

The strike followed days of rising tensions between Gaza-based militants and the Jewish state, with groups in the coastal territory lobbing a barrage of rockets into southern Israel and the Israeli military launching a series of air raids.

In a statement, the Israeli military confirmed an early morning air strike which it said "targeted a weapon manufacturing site in the northern Gaza Strip."

"Direct hits were confirmed and secondary explosions were identified," the statement added. "The site was targeted in response to the ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip."

The Israeli military said 19 rockets had been fired into Israel since Thursday, when Israel carried out an air strike targeting two militants it said were planning to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Both men were killed in the strike, which injured several others, prompting militant groups in Gaza to respond with rocket fire throughout the week, causing no injuries or damage.

An air strike on Gaza on Friday night killed a Palestinian father and his 12-year-old living next to an alleged militant training ground. The raid also injured 10 civilians, seven of them children, Palestinian medics said.

The uptick in violence comes after a period of relative calm on the always-tense Israel-Gaza border during which Israeli military officials have warned about the prospect of a future large-scale operation in the territory.

Speaking to public radio on Sunday, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Gaza's ruling Islamist movement Hamas against continued rocket fire into Israel.

"A state cannot allow its territory to be constantly under fire from an enemy," he said. Israel "will take the necessary measures to impose a high price" if the rocket fire from Gaza continued.

Israel's last major operation against Gaza was Operation Cast Lead, a 22-day offensive launched in December 2008 that cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians -- at least half of them civilians -- and 13 Israelis, including 10 soldiers.

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