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Rockets, Missiles Hit Southern Israel

JERUSALEM, Aug. 25 (UPI) — More than 20 rockets and missiles were fired at southern Israel after the death of an Islamic Jihad commander in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, the army said.

Grad missiles and Qassam rockets fell in Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ofakim Wednesday night, injuring a 9-month old baby and setting a vehicle on fire, a police official said.

Several of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said.

In response to the rocket attacks, the Israeli Air Force conducted a number of airstrikes in northern and southern Gaza, hitting a smuggling tunnel and a weapons storage facility, the army said.

Two Palestinians were killed and more than 25 injured in the overnight airstrikes, the Ma’an news agency said Thursday. The report said three Palestinians remained unaccounted for.

Ismail al-Asmar, a commander in the Islamic Jihad, was killed early Wednesday when his car was hit in an airstrike. The army said he helped arm the Islamic Jihad with rockets and missiles and was involved in a terror attack last week at Eilat.

Earlier this week, Hamas and other Palestinian factions agreed to an Egyptian-mediated deal to halt rocket fire on Israel. Despite this, a number of rockets were fired at Israel, prompting airstrikes in Gaza against suspected terror targets, Israeli officials said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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