Gaza Fires Rockets as Israeli Airstrikes Continue

Situation continues to escalate after deadly attacks
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2011 7:13 AM CDT
Orthodox Jewish men are seen through a shattered window near a synagogue after a rocket fired by Palestinians militants from Gaza Strip hit Ashdod, Israel, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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(Newser) – The situation continues to get uglier in Gaza and southern Israel: Gaza militants launched rockets into Israel this morning in the latest move following yesterday's coordinated attacks against Israelis. Israel had initially retaliated against those attacks, which killed eight, with an airstrike yesterday that killed five. Israel continued those airstrikes past midday today, targeting what the military said were smuggling tunnels and sites used by gunmen, the AP reports. Hamas says two children have been killed in the strikes. Early today, at least 10 rockets were fired into Israel by Gaza militants; one was intercepted, another wounded six Israelis.

Yesterday's initial attacks, the deadliest against Israelis in three years, illustrate the increasing danger posed by Israel's border with the Sinai Peninsula, which has become increasingly lawless since Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Despite the escalating violence, Israel's chief military spokesperson says it's "too early" to say that a broad escalation in Gaza is coming, but "if we see that Hamas is choosing to escalate, we will not hesitate to expand the scope of our actions, respond in strength and exact a price from Hamas."

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