Israeli planes and helicopters mount Gaza attacks

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Israeli planes and helicopters mounted at least seven missile attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip today, destroying what a military spokesman described as Palestinian munitions sites.

Four air strikes blew up two caravans near the town of Khan Younis, witnesses and Hamas officials said. There were no casualties in this attack.

A fifth missile hit a cheese factory in Gaza City, setting it on fire, the witnesses and Hamas officials said. Hospital officials said two children were slightly wounded by flying debris.

Helicopters struck twice in the central refugee camp of Nusseirat, destroying a metal foundry and no one was injured.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the attacks, saying they had targeted two weapons-manufacturing plants and two arms caches.

The air strikes were Israel's response to a Palestinian short-range rocket that was fired across the border into the Jewish state on Thursday, the spokesman said. The attack, which went unclaimed by any Palestinian faction, caused no damage.



Israel has said it will hold Hamas responsible for any attacks on its cities from the Gaza Strip.



Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said the Islamist group was trying to reaffirm an agreement reached last year with other Palestinian factions to curb the rocket fire.



An Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip early last year was designed to counter such salvoes. Rocket attacks have resumed sporadically in recent weeks and Israel has responded with air strikes.

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