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Archive for Saturday, January 19, 2008

Israel pounds Hamas targets with air strike

January 19, 2008

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— Israel sought to put an end to a surge in rocket attacks from Gaza, sending its air force Friday against a symbol of Hamas power in the heart of Gaza City and simultaneously choking off shipments of fuel and food across its border with the strip.

An Israeli warplane attacked the downtown offices of the Palestinian Interior Ministry, flattening one wing of the empty building, killing a woman at a wedding party next door and wounding at least 46 other civilians, some of them children playing soccer in the street, hospital staff and witnesses said.

The attack was the first on a ministry building since Hamas seized control of Gaza last June. An Israeli military commentator said it was meant to send a message to the violent Islamic group that further rocket attacks could cause the conflict to spiral.

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