Troops and warplanes strike Gaza

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Israeli aircraft and ground forces struck Gaza yesterday, killing three civilians and two Hamas gunmen, in retaliation for a Palestinian rocket attack on an Israeli school bus on Thursday.

Barely two years after rocket fire from Gaza triggered a devastating Israeli military offensive in the territory, Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers seemed on the brink of another round of intense violence.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the shelling. It added that eight missiles were launched from Gaza into Israel today.