18 Palestinians Dead in Israeli Strikes

Israel keeps schools closed as citizens huddle in bomb shelters
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2012 3:35 PM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference during his visit to the port city of Ashdod, near the border with the Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
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(Newser) – Gaza and Israel continued to exchange rocket attacks for air strikes this weekend, leaving 18 Palestinians dead, four Israelis wounded, and world leaders weighing in on the latest round of Middle East violence, the Guardian reports. On the Israeli side, schools were kept closed and thousands of civilians spent hours huddled in bomb shelters. In Palestine, an air strike on a refugee camp left a 12-year-old boy among the dead. Another 26 Palestinians were reported hurt, five seriously.

More than 130 rockets have launched from Gaza since Friday, with Israel knocking out at least 28 of them using a missile defense system. Israel also retaliated with 17 air strikes by this morning. Militants from the PRC and Islamic Jihad may have fired the Gaza rockets, but Israel insists Hamas is to blame. Washington has condemned the Gaza rocket attacks, while the EU expressed concern for civilians on both sides, and Egyptian leaders met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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