Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 19, 2012

Israel bombing kills militant in Gaza Strip

(Continued)

Overall, the offensive that began Wednesday killed 100 Palestinians, including 53 civilians, and wounded some 840 people, including 225 children, Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra said.

On the Israeli side, three civilians have died from Palestinian rocket fire and dozens have been wounded. A rocket-defense system has intercepted hundreds of rockets bound for populated areas.

Hamas fighters have fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel in the current round of fighting, including 95 on Monday, among them one that hit an empty school in the coastal city of Ashkelon. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 29 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile battery. Rockets landed in open areas of Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and caused damage in a number of areas.

Schools in southern Israel have been closed since the start of the offensive on Wednesday, and large police units deployed in the area to respond to any potential damage and injuries from rockets.

A poll published in the Haaretz daily on Monday showed widespread support in Israel for the offensive. It said that 84 percent of the public supports the operation, with 12 percent opposed. At the same time, it said just 30 percent of the public supports a ground invasion of Gaza. The poll, conducted by the Dialog agency, surveyed 520 people and had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

In Monday's violence, an Israeli airstrike on a high-rise building in Gaza City killed Ramez Harb, a senior figure in Islamic Jihad's military wing, the Al Quds Brigades, the group said in a text message to reporters. A number of foreign and local news organizations have offices in the building, which was also struck on Sunday. A passer-by was also killed, medics said.

Thick black smoke rose from the building. Paramedics said several people were wounded.

Islamic Jihad, a smaller sister group to Hamas, said it believed Harb was the target of the strike.

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