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You are here News International Death toll mounts in Gaza as Israel bombards Palestinian enclave

Death toll mounts in Gaza as Israel bombards Palestinian enclave

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Gaza bombedIsraeli air strikes shook Gaza every few minutes on Wednesday, and militants kept up rocket fire at Israel's heartland in intensifying warfare that Palestinian officials said has killed at least 38 people in the Hamas-dominated enclave.

Missiles from the Iron Dome defense system shot into the sky to intercept rockets launched, for the second straight day, at Tel Aviv, the country's commercial capital.

With cries of 'Allahu akbar' (God is great), Palestinians in Gaza cheered as rockets streaked overhead toward Israel, in attacks that could provide a popularity boost for Islamist Hamas, whose rift with neighboring Egypt's military-backed government has deepened economic hardship.

Other communities near Tel Aviv in central Israel and in the south, closer to Gaza, were also targeted. In the longest-range attack since Tuesday, when Israel stepped up its offensive, a rocket hit near Zichron Yaakov, a town 115 kilometers (70 miles) north of Gaza.

No serious Israeli fatalities or serious injuries were reported and Israeli news reports hailed as heroes the military crews of the Iron Dome batteries, which are made in Israel and partly funded by the United States. The military said 48 rockets struck Israel on Wednesday, and Iron Dome intercepted 14 others.

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