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Israel strikes Gaza after exchange of air strikes Sunday

An Israeli air strike against Palestinian militants wounded eight bystanders and prompted Palestinian retaliation Sunday. Israel struck targets in the Gaza Strip Monday.

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With Egyptian mediation, Hamas has made efforts in the past to clamp down on smaller militant groups that persist in launching attacks on Israel, partly in order to avoid another devastating war. A three-week Israeli offensive killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the winter of 2008-2009.

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But on Monday Abu Ubaida said Hamas had displayed a "high level of coordination" with Islamic Jihad in launching the latest rocket barrage.

"Should the enemy continue its aggression against the Gaza Strip the reaction by the resistance will be stronger and broader," he said.

The homemade weapons fired from Gaza are inaccurate, but potentially lethal. An Israeli spokeswoman said some exploded harmlessly on Monday near the border with the Gaza Strip. But one kibbutz resident said children could have been killed.

"It was a very powerful barrage," Ilan Yosef of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak near the Gaza border told Israel radio. "The goat pen in the (children's) petting corner was severely hit and a vet is treating the animals still alive and dealing with those that aren't."

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