Rockets from Lebanon hit Israel

Several rockets hit Israel from Lebanon amid heavy bombardments in Gaza in the 13th day of a massive offensive, killing nearly 700 Palestinians.

Rockets from Lebanon hit Israel
Several rockets hit northern Israel from Lebanon on Thursday with the army returning fire, as the Jewish state entered the 13th day of a massive offensive Gaza, killing nearly 700 Palestinians.

At least three rockets fired from Lebanon exploded in northern Israel on Thursday, wounding two people, police and medics said.

Israeli medical staff said two people were lightly wounded by one of the rockets.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police, said the rockets hit three different places in northern Israel's Galilee region.

Lebanese security sources said between three and five rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel.

Lebanese security sources said it seemed unlikely Hezbollah fired the salvoes. Hamas sources in Lebanon denied involvement.

Israeli warplanes bombed across the Gaza Strip on Thursday and tanks advanced in the territory as U.S. backing for a truce proposal raised expectations of an end to the massacre.

Denial

Later Israel said "one more rocket was fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel on Thursday, but then denied the report, saying "a second rocket from Lebanon that was reported by Israeli media on Thursday may in fact have been a sonic boom from a jet aircraft."

The reports of another rocket around 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) were "apparently prompted by a sonic boom," an army spokesman said. Israeli aircraft flew over southern Lebanon.

Heavy bombardments

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian man, police said.

Residents in Gaza described the overnight bombardment to the east of the city as among the heaviest in the offensive.

An Israeli air strike killed three gunmen of the Islamic Jihad group in northern Gaza, medics said. Tanks advanced closer to the southern town of Khan Younis, witnesses said.

Israel increased its offensive although it said it accepted the "principles" of a European-Egyptian ceasefire proposal. The United States urged Israel to study the plan.

The total of Palestinian deaths since Dec. 27 rose on Thursday to nearly 700 -- the bloodiest violence in decades of Israel occupation.

Israel's assault resumed after a brief pause on Wednesday to help Gaza's inhabitants stock up on basic supplies.

Twenty Palestinians were killed on Wednesday, medics said, including three children in an air strike on a car.

Ten Israelis have died in the past 13 days, seven of them soldiers, including four killed by "friendly" fire.

With both George W. Bush's outgoing administration and President-elect Barack Obama finnaly speaking out on the need for peace, officials said Israel would send an envoy to Cairo to discuss how the Egyptian plan might be implemented.

Israel had broken an agreement to lift Gaza siege. The Egyptian plan addresses Hamas' call for an end to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and Hamas said it was studying it.

Tuesday's killing by Israeli shells of 42 people, including women and children sheltering in a U.N.-run school in Jabalya refugee camp, intensified international demands on Israel to call a halt. U.N. officials firmly rejected Israel claimes that fighters were inside the school.

Agencies
Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2009, 12:33
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