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Israel bombards Gaza; militants' rocket fire reaches Tel Aviv

Published on Jul 9, 2014 3:48 AM

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - At least 16 people were killed in strikes across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Palestinian officials said, as Israel threatened a lengthy offensive against Islamist militants whose rocket fire reached as far as Tel Aviv.

Israelis ran for cover as sirens sounded in the business capital, in the deepest attack from Gaza since hostilities flared three weeks ago after the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Air raid sirens later sounded in Jerusalem. The military said its Iron Dome interceptor shot down the rocket which the Islamic Jihad militant group said it had fired. Explosions echoed across densely populated Gaza, shaking buildings and sending up plumes of smoke. In residential areas, children could be heard crying as ambulance sirens wailed.

At least 12 civilians, including five children, were among the 16 dead in Gaza, Palestinian officials said. On the Israeli side, medics said rocket impacts wounded at least two people.

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