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Israel Responds to Rocket Attacks, Strikes Palestinian Sites

by VOA News June 29, 2014

Israeli aircraft carried out multiple strikes in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, hours after rockets fired from the Palestinian territory set a factory in Israel on fire, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli military targeted 12 locations, including concealed rocket launchers, weapons manufacturing sites and what it called 'terror activity' sites.

Palestinian medics reported two people wounded.

Palestinian militants fired rockets at southern Israel on Friday and Saturday. One of them hit a factory in the town of Sderot, setting it on fire and injuring three people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that Israel is 'ready' to expand its operations in Gaza.

Speaking to ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting, the Israeli premier said the almost-nightly military strikes on Gaza could be expanded should the need arise.

'Full occupation'

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said limited operations against militants in Gaza only strengthen Hamas.

'The alternative is clear,' Lieberman said on Army Radio. 'Either with each round we attack terror infrastructure and they shoot, or we go to full occupation.'

There has been an increase in rockets launched from the Hamas-ruled territory toward Israel this month, as the army has carried out a wide-ranging operation against Hamas in the West Bank while searching for three Israeli teens who Israel said were abducted June 12 by the Palestinian militant group.

Israel's military said since the beginning of June, militants in the Gaza Strip have fired more than 60 rockets at Israel. In Gaza, Israeli air strikes have totaled more than 80 this month and killed two militants and wounded about a dozen other people, Palestinian officials said.

Israel has arrested more than 400 Hamas members in a search for the missing teens.

Hamas has repeatedly denied any involvement in their disappearance.

There has been no claim for the youths' abduction, nor has there been any indication of their whereabouts.

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

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