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Israel: Airstrike targets Gaza rocket squad

  • Story Highlights
  • Airstrike comes after rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza
  • Rocket attacks followed Israeli military operation that Palestinians say killed five
  • Israel: Initial operation came after forces found tunnel meant for soldier abduction
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GAZA CITY, Gaza (CNN) -- Israel launched an airstrike against Islamic militants in northern Gaza Wednesday night after rockets were fired into Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Palestinians shout during Wednesday's funeral of five militants killed Tuesday in an Israeli army operation.

Palestinians shout during Wednesday's funeral of five militants killed Tuesday in an Israeli army operation.

The IDF targeted a rocket-launching squad in northern Gaza's Jebaliya camp, a spokesman said.

Palestinian security sources told CNN there were two Israeli airstrikes, though the IDF confirmed only one. The Palestinian sources said the first strike hit a group of Islamic Jihad militants, killing one and injuring three. The second, about five minutes later, tageted the rocket-launching squad, the sources said.

Forty rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, an IDF spokesman said. Initial reports gave a lower number of missiles. Israeli police said one rocket was fired into the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

Wednesday's airstrike reports and the rocket fire came after Israel launched an airstrike Tuesday night in southern Gaza and clashed with Hamas militants in central Gaza, Palestinian sources and the IDF said. Tuesday's clashes and airstrike killed a total of five militants, Palestinian sources said.

Four people were killed in Tuesday's airstrike, which targeted an area east of Khan Younis, Palestinian sources said. They said a drone and an Apache helicopter were seen.

Before Tuesday night's airstrike, fighting between Hamas militants and Israel Defense Forces killed one militant and injured three. The fighting occurred after dark, when Israeli troops entered the eastern part of the Dir Albalah refugee camp in central Gaza, Palestinian sources said.

The IDF said it launched a small operation Tuesday evening after its forces uncovered a "ready-to-be-used tunnel" several meters from a security fence. The IDF said the tunnel -- dug from a civilian home -- was meant for abducting Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian sources said the Israelis blew up a tunnel during the operation.

The IDF said it exchanged fire with militants during the operation, which it said lasted a few hours.

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