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Terrorism & Security

Israel launches airstrikes in Gaza Monday

Israel said it was responding to rocket attacks Sunday.

By Huma Yusuf / February 9, 2009

Despite an informal truce in Gaza, a Palestinian militant was killed by Israeli troops and Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes in Gaza Monday. The Israeli attacks were retaliations against Palestinian rocket attacks that took place on Sunday. The violence coincides with increased efforts to broker a more lasting cease-fire.

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The Palestinian fighter was killed by Israeli troops overnight, reports the Associated Press.

The militant group Islamic Jihad said in a statement that one of its fighters was killed overnight in an Israeli airstrike. The Israeli military said troops spotted an armed militant trying to cross the Gaza-Israel border late Sunday and opened fire, after which a bomb belt he was wearing detonated.

Haaretz reports the fighter had planned to attack Israeli troops, according to Islamic Jihad.

Islamic Jihad had earlier said the man killed was on a mission to attack an Israeli patrol along the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip...
Islamic Jihad said the Palestinian killed near the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun belonged to its armed wing and that he was part of a squad that had planned to attack Israeli troops along the frontier.

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza earlier Monday morning did not result in casualties, according to Agence France-Presse.

An Israeli F-16 fired two missiles against a police post near the southern city of Khan Yunis, sparking a fire.
An Israeli helicopter also carried out a raid in a unpopulated area of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, but caused no casualties.
"Aircraft intervened against a Hamas position in Hamas near Khan Yunis and another at Beit Lahiya," an Israeli military spokesman confirmed.

The airstrikes are in retaliation for Palestinian rocket attacks that occurred the day before, reports the Associated Press.

Two rockets fired by Palestinian militants struck southern Israel on Sunday, Israel's military said, violating an informal truce even as Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers appeared to hurry closer to a long-term cease-fire deal two days before Israeli elections....
In separate attacks, Palestinian rockets exploded in the Nir Am communal farm and the southern city of Ashkelon. No injuries were reported, though cars and buildings were damaged, authorities said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack.

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