Israeli military strikes Gaza as rocket attacks persist

13:51, April 11, 2011      

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Mourners carry the body of the militant Raed al-Ber, 30, during his funeral in Gaza City on April 10, 2011. Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamic Hamas movement on Sunday urged the Arab League to seek stop of Israeli attacks in Gaza at the United Nations Security Council. (Xinhua/Yasser Qudih)

by Gur Salomon

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday continued launching strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip following the firing of mortar shells at southern Israel.

Several projectiles were fired from Gaza since the early morning hours, causing no injuries, local media reported. In another incident, an IDF tank operating near the border fence in the southern strip was targeted by an anti-tank missile.

In one of the most severe rounds of violence since the 2009 Gaza war, over 120 rockets and mortar rounds landed in Israeli territory over the weekend.

Rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel's major cities on Friday and Saturday, including Ashdod, Beersheba and Ashkelon, and at smaller communities in the western Negev.

Most of the projectiles landed in open territory, causing no fatalities. Damage to buildings and infrastructure was reported in some places, while ten people were treated for shock.

Hostilities upped a notch on Thursday afternoon when an Israeli school bus was directly hit by an anti-tank missile. A 16-year-old boy was critically wounded and the bus driver sustained light injuries.

The IDF retaliated with 46 air strikes throughout Gaza in the past 48 hours, according to the army spokesman's office. Targets included Hamas rocket launching squads, rocket production workshops, smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border and a truck loaded with projectiles.

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