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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
Israel air strike kills children
Palestinian boy hurt in Israeli strike is taken to hospital
Many of the injured are said to have been children
An Israeli air strike on a car in the Gaza Strip has killed two children and a teenager, Palestinian officials say.

The occupants of the car leapt out before the blast in a crowded street in the Jabaliya refugee camp, witnesses say. Fourteen people were wounded.

The Israeli military confirmed it had attacked the vehicle.

Israel has repeatedly struck targets in Gaza in response to rocket attacks by militants, who have fired dozens of volleys into Israel in recent days.

Hundreds of angry Palestinians gathered to protest at the scene of the latest explosion.

Those who died include a boy and a girl - both about five-years-old - and a 16-year-old girl, Palestinian medical sources say.


Khalil Roka, a cousin of one of the dead children, told the Associated Press news agency he saw a red flash as the car exploded amid a group of children playing.

Several of the injured are also said to be children.

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says civilians are often killed when Israel targets militants in crowded areas.

'Necessary'

A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said the attack had targeted members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militant group associated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.

Sderot protest against Palestinian missile fire

Israel says such strikes are necessary to deter militants from firing crude rockets from Gaza.

Last week, an Israeli strike on a van carrying militants in Gaza City left nine people dead, seven of them civilians.

Earlier this month, eight Palestinians - including seven members of one family - were killed in an explosion as they picnicked on Gaza's beach.

Israel denied Palestinian accusations that its shelling had caused the blast.

People in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, frequently hit by Palestinian rockets, went on strike on Tuesday to protest that the government was not doing enough to protect them.


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