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Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 13:48 UK

Two dead in Gaza-Israel attacks

Israelis blockade goods terminal into Gaza
Israelis have been protesting about continued rocket and mortar fire

A young Palestinian girl has been killed by an Israeli shell in the southern Gaza Strip, medics said.

The Israel army confirmed it carried out an air strike in the area, saying it targeted a group of militants.

Security forces in the Hamas-run territory say the bomb missed its target and landed near a house.

The attack, which also injured two women, came after Palestinian militants shelled an Israeli kibbutz, killing a civilian and wounding four others.

The hospital in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis hospital identified the girl as Aya al-Manjar and said her mother was critically wounded.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the attack targeted the area from which militants earlier fired rockets that slammed into the Nir Oz kibbutz in southern Israel, killing one person, a 52-year-old man, and wounding four.

Militants in Gaza regularly fire rockets at southern Israel, a response they say to Israeli military operations in Palestinian territory.

Israel has sealed off the territory and blocks all but essential humanitarian supplies, while launching regular raids in an attempt to counter militant fire.

An Israeli government spokesman said Hamas would be held accountable for rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas seized control of a year ago.

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Aftermath of militant attack on Nir Oz kibbutz

Correspondents say the violence is a setback to Egyptian efforts to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas.

Militant rocket fire killed two people in Israel during May. The latest death brings to 16 the toll from such attacks since 2000.

About 500 people, nearly all of them Palestinians and more than half of them militants, have been killed in violence since the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace process was revived in November 2007.





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