Infant is killed in Israeli attack

A baby was killed in an air raid on Hamas government buildings in Gaza last night when the Israeli military retaliated for a lethal rocket attack launched by the Palestinian militant group.

A 47-year-old student was killed outside his college in the Israeli border town of Sderot during a heavy barrage of missiles launched by Hamas after five of its militants died in an earlier Israeli strike on Gaza. He was in a parked car when one of at least 30 rockets fired at Sderot, Ashkelon and nearby communities struck his vehicle, inflicting lethal wounds to his chest.

The death – the first in an rocket attack on Israel from Gaza since May last year – came on a day of violence in which at least 12 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and the West Bank. The five militants, described by Hamas leasders as "five of our best fighters", were killed when a van in which they were travelling was attacked from the air in southern Gaza.

After nightfall, a third Israeli strike, aimed at a rocket squad, killed two children as they left a mosque, Palestinian sources said. The Israeli military said it carried out the airstrike but had no knowledge of civilians being hit.

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