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Israeli Strike Kills Eight
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Eight Palestinians were killed and up to 12 wounded in an Israeli air strike on a family compound of a senior Hamas lawmaker in eastern Gaza city Sunday evening.

Mua'wia Hassanin, spokesman for ambulance service, said the victims were relatives of Khalil al-Haiya, a senior lawmaker from Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

Hassanin added that the there was an old man among the dead while a lady and two children are among the wounded. "The death toll is expected to rise due to some critical conditions among the injuries," Hassanin said.

Witnesses said at least one air-to-ground was fired into the family compound which is located a few meters away from al-Haiya's house.

A source from Hamas, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Haiya was inside his house when the bombing happened, confirming that the former chief of Hamas' parliamentary bloc was unharmed.

The strike came hours after the Israeli Cabinet decided to step up operations against leaders of the ruling Hamas party and the Islamic Jihad (Holy War).

The decision was taken after the two factions increased rocket attacks into southern Israel territories, causing damage to some houses and wounding a number of people in Sderot town over the past days.

Last Thursday, Israel resumed air strikes against Hamas targets. After midnight, an air raid on a car killed three members of Hamas' military wing and a fourth 15-year-old boy has died in another Israeli shelling.

(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2007)

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