Israel bombs Gaza sites after rocket fire
Gaza City - Israeli jets bombed three sites in Gaza overnight after rockets were fired from the coastal strip, Palestinian officials and the Israeli military said on Thursday.
The Israeli air strikes were the second in as many days, as rocket fire from Gaza into Israel increased suddenly after months of relative quiet.
In a statement, the Israeli military said its aircraft targeted three tunnels, two used for smuggling in southern Gaza and one "used for terrorist activity" in the north of the Palestinian territory.
"The tunnels were targeted in response to the firing of rockets at Israel's southern communities during the previous day," the military said.
Palestinian medical sources said five people were moderately wounded by the raids and two people had been reported missing.
Shortly after the air strikes another "projectile" was fired from Gaza into southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli military said.
According to Israeli military figures, it was the 11th rocket or mortar shell to be fired from Gaza into the Jewish state since the beginning of July.
The Israeli strikes came after similar raids a day earlier, which the military said targeted two "weapons manufacturing sites" in northern Gaza.
Palestinian medical sources said one woman was moderately injured in Wednesday's raids.
The rocket fire and retaliatory raids represented the first significant uptick in violence in the area since April, when tensions rose after an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza hit an Israeli school bus, killing a teenager.
Israel responded with a series of strikes that killed at least 19 Palestinians in the deadliest violence since Israel's devastating 22-day assault on Gaza in 2008-2009.
The violence raised fears of another such assault, but on April 10 the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip declared a return to the truce that ended Israel's Operation Cast Lead in January 2009, and the calm has largely held since then.