Israel pounds targets in Gaza

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iol pic wld_ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-_0702_11~1

Reuters

A Palestinian uses a sling to hurl a stone towards Israeli police during clashes in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem. Picture: Baz Ratner

Jerusalem - Eleven Palestinians were wounded on Thursday when Israel pounded targets in Gaza as militants kept up a volley of cross-border fire, with rockets hitting two houses in the Israeli south.

But there was no immediate sign of a return to the violent clashes which had engulfed east Jerusalem on Wednesday, following the kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teenager in a suspected revenge attack after three Israeli teens were abducted and killed.

“Eleven people were wounded during the night, including one who is in serious condition,” a spokesman for the Gaza health authority said, indicating seven were hurt in Beit Lahiya in the north and four in Gaza City.

The pre-dawn raids came after nearly a dozen rockets struck southern Israel, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, the army said.

One scored a direct hit on a house in Sderot, causing an electrical outage across the town, police said.

Even after the raids, the rocket fire continued with another projectile hitting a second house in the town, the army said. Nobody was injured.

Since midnight, 15 rockets have slammed into southern Israel, army figures show.

In east Jerusalem, violent clashes which broke out early Wednesday in Shuafat following the kidnap and murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian in a suspect revenge attack, ended around 24 hours later.

Clashes which had raged in Shuafat throughout Wednesday spread during the evening to other areas of annexed east Jerusalem, including Silwan, Issawiya, Ras al-Amud and Anata, an AFP correspondent said.

According to figures from Dr Amin Abu Ghazali, head of field operations for the Red Crescent in east Jerusalem, 232 people were wounded during the clashes, 178 of them in Shuafat alone.

Of that number 187 were wounded by rubber bullets.

Other clashes with Israeli troops were reported in the occupied West Bank, at Qalandiya between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as well as in the southern towns of Beit Fajjar and Bethlehem, where demonstrators hurled stones and molotov cocktails, police said.

Overnight, Israeli troops arrested 13 “wanted” Palestinians as it pressed on with an arrest campaign which began when the three teenagers were snatched while hitchhiking on June 12. Their bodies were found on Monday, with the triple murder blamed on Hamas. - AFP


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