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Israeli aircraft strike Gaza

Story Highlights

• IDF says it targeted an Islamic Jihad building and a Fatah weapons warehouse
• Palestinian source: Islamic Jihad leader's home was among targets hit
• Palestinian militant was killed after crossing into Israel, Palestinian sources say
• IDF would not say if airstrikes were in retaliation for border breach
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(CNN) -- Israeli aircraft launched airstrikes in Gaza City early Sunday, one day after Palestinian gunmen crossed the Gaza border, believed to be the first such incident in a year.

Palestinian security sources and media reports said there were three Israeli airstrikes, but the Israel Defense Forces would only confirm two. The IDF declined to say whether the strikes were launched in retaliation for the Palestinian border breach on Saturday. The purpose of the Palestinian incursion apparently was to kidnap an Israeli soldier, an Israeli official said.

The airstrikes "are against the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and violent offshoots of Fatah," the IDF said. The targets were an Islamic Jihad building in Gaza City and a weapons warehouse belonging to Fatah in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, the IDF said.

A Palestinian source said two airstrikes occurred around midnight, the first targeting the home or office of Mohammed al-Hindi, an Islamic Jihad leader, in western Gaza City; the second striking a dairy warehouse in northern Gaza City. A third targeted a workshop in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighborhood a bit later, the Palestinian source said. (Watch as people survey the damage at one site Video)

Also late Saturday, Israeli tanks conducted a limited incursion into northern Gaza, east of Beit Hanoun, Palestinian security sources said. The IDF confirmed to CNN that a small number of Israel forces have been in the area since Friday to prevent Qassam rockets in the area. An IDF spokesman said there have been no incidents in the region.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territory have been rising in recent months. Israel claims militants in Gaza have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, prompting the IDF to launch retaliatory strikes.

During the Palestinian border incursion on Saturday, one Palestinian militant was killed during an exchange of gunfire with the IDF in the Kissufim area of Israel, Palestinian sources said. An IDF spokesman confirmed the exchange and said the gunmen had crossed the border in a jeep. It was unclear who fired first.

Three gunmen, belonging to Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade -- an offshoot military group of Fatah -- returned to Gaza, the Palestinian sources said.

In June 2006, Hamas militants crossed the Gaza border and killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped a third.

Meanwhile, violence between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah flared in the Gaza city of Rafah Saturday, leaving two people dead and scores wounded, Palestinian security sources said.

At least four homes were damaged in what the sources described as shooting and shelling.

The internal violence has highlighted the weaknesses of the Palestinian unity government that was formed earlier this year. Hamas and Fatah agreed to a cease-fire on May 19 that ended widespread factional fighting in Gaza.

Hamas came to power in parliamentary elections in January 2006 after more than a decade of Fatah rule over the Palestinian Authority.



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