Israeli planes hit targets in Gaza (Lead)

February 2nd, 2009 - 5:58 am ICT by IANS  

F-16Gaza, Feb 2 (Xinhua) Israel launched a series of airstrikes Sunday night on several targets in the Gaza Strip, including a police station and the border area between Gaza and Egypt, witnesses said.Residents of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, which borders Egypt, said that Israeli F-16 jets dropped at least four bombs at the border area between their town and Egypt, with no injuries reported.

Hasan Abu Jazzar, resident of Rafah, said Israeli F-16 warplanes hovered over Rafah town and dropped four heavy bombs at the borderline, aiming at destroying underground tunnels used for smuggling goods.

He said that tunnels’ owners and workers had evacuated the area earlier Sunday evening, after receiving warning text messages on their mobiles that they have to leave the area.

Abu Jazzar said that he saw dozens of families leaving their homes earlier this evening and moving to safer places in the northern area of the town, after receiving the same warning text messages in Arabic from Israel.

Earlier Sunday night, Israeli jets had twice struck an empty police station that belongs to the deposed government of Hamas in central Gaza Strip, and no injuries were reported, witnesses and security sources said.

The Israeli airstrikes on police station came hours after eight homemade rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities in the vicinity of the enclave.

On Jan 18, Israel and Gaza militant groups declared a unilateral ceasefire separately, following a 22-day Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip that killed around 1,300 people.

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