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Palestinians launch rockets

Palestinian militants on Monday fired dozens of rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel, critically wounding an Israeli teen in what appeared to be an act of revenge after a deadly undercover Israeli military raid the day before.

The Israeli military responded by dispatching fighter jets to strike "terror targets" throughout the Gaza Strip, in what was shaping up to be one of the most serious rounds of fighting since the devastating 2014 Gaza war.

The botched Israeli raid in Gaza the day before left seven Palestinian militants and an Israeli officer dead. The violence has thrown into doubt a series of informal understandings reached in recent days aimed at lowering tensions between Israel and Hamas.

In Gaza, the sky lit up with outgoing rocket fire. The Israeli military said at least 80 rockets were launched toward Israel. Its Iron Dome rocket defence system intercepted some of the rockets, but a few slipped through. Israeli TV showed images of a building on fire in a shopping centre in the southern town of Sderot.

In the most serious strike, a mortar shell struck an Israeli bus, critically wounding a 19-year-old man. Israeli media reported five other people wounded.

The ruling Hamas militant group, and the smaller Islamic Jihad group, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire in a joint statement.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab said the groups decided to retaliate for the deadly Israeli incursion "so the occupation and its supporters know that the lives of our sons come with a price."

Air raid sirens continued to sound throughout southern Israel, as well as in nearby areas of the West Bank.

Earlier Monday, thousands of mourners buried the seven militants killed in Sunday's incursion. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh led a funeral as masked gunmen in uniforms carried coffins draped in the flag of Hamas' armed wing and mourners chanted "revenge."

Hamas, the militant group that has ruled Gaza since 2007, launched a feverish security sweep across the territory, setting up checkpoints across the territory in a show of force after what appeared to be a major security breach for the militant group. It also restricted movement through crossings with Israel, preventing foreign journalists, local businessmen and some aid workers from leaving the territory.



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