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Israel hits Gaza after attack wounds infant

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Emergency workers rush a10-month-old Israeli boy to a hospital after the toddler was seriously injured Tuesday during a Palestinian bomb attack  

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel launched rockets at Palestinian targets in Gaza on Tuesday after a mortar attack that wounded a 10-month-old boy.

The targets of Tuesday's raids were part of the Palestinian Authority "apparatus" that Israel held responsible for the mortar attack. Two district headquarters of the Palestinian police forces were among the targets of Tuesday's Israeli raids, an Israeli army statement said.

"This is a reaction to the brutal attack against a baby and its mother," an Israeli military statement said. "All those responsible will be punished."

Other attacks were reported at the Rafah border crossing and the town of Khan Yunis.

The mortar attack Tuesday afternoon seriously wounded the 10-month-old boy in a Jewish settlement in Gush Katif. The boy and his mother, also injured, were evacuated to the Israeli town of Beersheeba.

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The Islamic militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack.

It was the second time that Israeli rockets have struck at Palestinian Authority targets in the past week. In addition, an Israeli helicopter attack Monday killed a leading member of the militant group Islamic Jihad.

Strikes last week targeted members of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's police bodyguard unit, Force 17. In addition, Israeli security forces arrested six Force 17 members Sunday: Three were released Tuesday after Israeli authorities decided they had no connection to terrorist acts.

The raids and arrests are signs of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's intent to step up the battle against the six-month-old Palestinian uprising and end what leading ministers have called the previous policy of restraint.

CNN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Mike Hanna and Correspondent Jerrold Kessel contributed to this report.



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Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Israeli Prime Minister's Office

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