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Israeli Airstrikes Kill 2 Militants After More Rockets Fired From Gaza

VOA News March 12, 2012

Medics say Israeli airstrikes killed two more Palestinian militants in Gaza Monday in another Israeli response to rocket attacks.

Palestinian officials say the airstrike wounded at least 25 people. The four days of violent tit-for-tat exchanges have killed 20 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy. All but two of those killed were militants.

The militant group Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for the latest rocket attacks into southern Israel. Officials from Hamas, which rules Gaza, call the attacks a rightful resistance to Israeli occupation.

Well over 100 rockets have targeted southern Israel since Friday. Israel closed schools in the area Monday for the second day as a precaution.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the airstrikes will continue as long as necessary. He says those who have been targeting Israeli civilians are paying a heavy price.

Palestinian officials say Egypt is trying to mediate a return to calm as it did during previous exchanges of fire in recent years.

The latest fighting erupted Friday when an Israeli air strike on Gaza killed two Palestinians who Israel says were planning an imminent attack. Israel says one of the militants, Zuhair al-Qaissi, helped carry out an attack last August in which terrorists sneaked into southern Israel from Egypt and killed eight people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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