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Helicopters fire into media building in Gaza City

Palestinian-made Qassam rocket kills Israeli toddler, man

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Palestinian militants claim responsibility for an attack Sunday on an Israeli base in Gaza.
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Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Israeli helicopter gunships launched rockets into the building that houses the Palestinian news agency Ramattan and struck a workshop suspected of making weapons in a southern Gaza refugee camp Monday, witnesses and Israeli military officials said.

Two Ramattan photographers were wounded in the Gaza City strike, which took place shortly before midnight (5 p.m. ET), the agency said.

The 11-story building also houses offices for CNN, the Turkish television network IHA and the Qatar-based Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said its gunships targeted the communications center for the Islamic militant group Hamas and a workshop that builds weapons in southern Gaza.

The spokesman would not confirm that the Ramattan building was among the targets.

Palestinian sources said a Hamas-linked media office on the third floor of the building was struck.

The workshop, in the Nussirat refugee camp in southern Gaza, was hit by three missiles, Palestinian security sources said.

In addition, Israeli troops and armor moved into the outskirts of Beit Hanoun in an attempt to prevent further Palestinian rocket attacks like the one that killed an Israeli toddler and a middle-aged man earlier Monday, the IDF spokesman said.

On its Web site, the newspaper Haaretz identified the victims as Afik Zahavi, 4, and Mordechai Yosepov, 49.

The two were killed when a Palestinian-made Qassam rocket landed near a kindergarten in the Israeli town of Sderot.

The child's mother was seriously wounded, as were several others in the attack, which represented the first time the crude, unguided Qassam rockets have resulted in fatalities, police said.

Israeli Emergency Services officials said the rockets were fired from Gaza. The radical Islamic group Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack in a leaflet delivered to CNN.

Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization whose military wing has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and attacks against the Israeli military. It is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.

Also Monday, Israeli troops destroyed two abandoned apartment buildings in central Gaza that military officials said were used to launch an attack on an Israeli military post Sunday night.

The buildings were located near the site of a tunnel dug beneath an Israeli army outpost near the Palestinian city of Khan Yunis.

Palestinian militants set off an explosion beneath the outpost near the entrance to the Jewish Gush Katif settlement block, killing one Israeli soldier and wounding five others, according to the Israeli military.

The multistory apartment buildings destroyed Monday had been built as part of a Palestinian Authority housing project in Khan Yunis.

The Israel Defense Forces said Palestinians used them as an observation post to gather information about Israeli troop movements, and Palestinian militants used them as a hideout.

In a telephone call to CNN, the militant group Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades -- another group labeled a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States -- took responsibility for the attack Sunday. Another source said Hamas shared responsibility.

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a military offshoot of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, has attacked military and civilian targets in Israel and in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

In other violence Monday, Palestinian security sources said one Palestinian was killed near the Jewish settlement of Morag; Israeli military sources said troops identified an armed Palestinian approaching the settlement and opened fire.

Another Palestinian was shot and killed as he drove near an Israeli outpost in the Gush Katif settlement, Palestinian security officials said. The Israeli army did not immediately comment.

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