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Israeli warplanes strike southern Gaza

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GAZA (AFP): Israeli warplanes struck the Gaza Strip early Friday near the southern city of Khan Yunis, Palestinian and Israeli officials said.

The air strike targeted a tunnel under Israel's security barrier that was to be used to infiltrate Palestinian militants, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

Palestinian security officials confirmed the air strike, adding that no one was injured.

Five mortar rounds were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel yesterday without causing damage or casualties, according to the Israeli military.

Two exploded inside Israeli territory, a third landed near the Karni crossing point into the Palestinian enclave and the other two hit near the border fence on the Palestinian side, a military spokesman said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned on several occasions that the Israeli army would respond to each rocket or shell fired into Israel.

According to the army more than 200 rockets and shells have been fired from Gaza since Israel's 22-day offensive against the Hamas rulers of the territory in December and January.

Operation "Cast Lead", which led to more than 1,400 Palestinian deaths including hundreds of civilians and which devastated swathes of the coastal strip, was officially aimed at ending the firing of rockets from Gaza.

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