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« on: November 16, 2006, 12:03:30 AM »

Woman killed by Gaza rocket, Israel vows to expand offensive

15 November 2006

JERUSALEM - An Israeli woman was killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza Wednesday, sparking warnings by the Jewish state that it would expand its deadly four-month offensive in the beleaguered coastal strip.

The woman, 57, died of wounds sustained when a rocket fell in a street inSderot, a town that lies five kilometers (three miles) north of Gaza, police and medics said.

A 24-year-old man was seriously wounded in the strike, one of six rockets to fall in Sderot in the morning hours, medics said.

The man was a member of a private security firm that guards the home of Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz, whose house is in Sderot, police said.

The death marked the first time since July 2005 that Palestinian rocket fire killed someone inside the Jewish state, according to the army, and came a week after an Israeli artillery strike killed 19 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza’s northern town of Beit Hanun.

In Gaza City, the armed wings of the Palestinian ruling Hamas movement and the ultra-radical Islamic Jihad group both said they had fired salvoes into Israel to avenge the Beit Hanun deaths, which sparked worldwide condemnation.

“This holy warrior operation comes... in response to the massacre of Beit Hanun and the continuing Zionist crimes against our Palestinian people,” said a statement from Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing.

“We stress that that our strikes against the enemy are continuing, and that for each (Israeli) shelling there will be a reprisal shelling, and that blood will be beget blood,” it said.

Woman killed by Gaza rocket, Israel vows to expand offensive

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