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Israel strikes Gaza, retaliating for barrage

JTA

March 21, 2011 | 5:31 pm

Israeli combat planes pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the worst barrage of rocket attacks on southern Israel in two years.

The French news agency AFP and Israel Radio reported repeated strikes on the strip late Monday night.

Israel Radio said that there were reports from Palestinian sources of 17 wounded. The army was not responding to the reports, the radio said.

Israel had responded earlier Monday to Saturday’s barrage with airstrikes on suspected bomb smuggling tunnels. The latest attack seemed more comprehensive and sustained, according to the reports.

The armed wing of Hamas, Izzadin Kassam Brigades, had claimed responsibility for most of the explosives sent Saturday from Gaza.

Before Israel’s attack, a spokesman for Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza, had sought a return to a fragile truce.

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