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Updated: May 10, 2010 11:52 IST

Israeli jets strike Gaza smuggling tunnels

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A Palestinian tunnel-digger works inside the smuggling tunnel where four Palestinian workers were killed in Rafah, along the border with Egypt southern Gaza Strip. File photo: AP.
A Palestinian tunnel-digger works inside the smuggling tunnel where four Palestinian workers were killed in Rafah, along the border with Egypt southern Gaza Strip. File photo: AP.

Israeli jets bombed two sites in southern Gaza early Monday, retaliating against a rocket fired from the coastal strip into its southern Negev desert, Hamas security officials and the Israeli military said.

Hamas officials said the targets were a smuggling tunnel, one of hundreds dug by Palestinians under the border with Egypt, and the nearby inoperative Gaza airport, which stopped flights after the second Palestinian uprising erupted against Israel in late 2000.

No casualties were reported in the two attacks, launched shortly after midnight.

The Israeli military said the airstrikes responded to a Gaza "made rocket that hit Israeli territory on Saturday night, landing in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council."

A spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said Palestinian militants fired some 50 rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory in 2010, and more than 330 since the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) ended a devastating, three???week offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008???09.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel and will continue to operate against those who use terror. The IDF holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip," the military said.

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