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Palestinian militants fire rockets on south Israel

RIA Novosti

24/10/2007 09:48 TEL AVIV, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - Palestinian militants fired around 20 mortar shells and rockets on south Israel, one of which hit a residential building in Sderot, an Israeli defense spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said militants in Gaza had fired Qassam rockets and mortars throughout Tuesday, and although there were no casualties, a number of Israelis were suffering from shock.

Palestinian media reported that militants from Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees had claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks, following the death of a prominent Palestinian militant.

Mubarak al-Hassanat, 37, a senior member of the Salah-ad-Din brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, was killed on Tuesday in central Gaza by an Israeli air strike.

The Israeli military said Al-Hassanat had been linked to rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.

In September, Israel declared the Gaza Strip, with a population of 1.5 million, an "enemy entity," and warned it could launch a large-scale military operation in the enclave, complicating plans for a U.S.-proposed Middle East conference scheduled for November.

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