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Israeli warplanes intensify airstrikes on Gaza
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Israeli F-16 warplanes intensified airstrikes on Monday night on several targets in Gaza City and southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, witnesses told local radio stations broadcasting from Gaza.

Medical sources said that five more Palestinians were killed in airstrikes on Monday evening in the neighborhood of Zeitoon in southern Gaza Strip, adding that 25 Palestinians were killed and 50 wounded on Monday.

Al-Sha'b, a radio station of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, quoted witnesses as saying that several air-to-ground missiles hit the neighborhood, adding they could see flames and black smoke pillars coming out of several targeted houses.

On Monday night, several huge explosions can be heard clearly in southern, eastern and northern Gaza City, and the Israeli warplanes and pilotless drones are still hovering over Gaza City.

Taher al-Noono, Hamas government's spokesman in Gaza, said earlier Monday in a written statement sent to reporters by e-mail "we tell our people that we are so close to victory than before."

The Israeli army has been carrying out air and ground military offensive in the enclave controlled by the Islamic movement, where it bombed hundreds of targets that belong to the movement's political and military establishments.

Medics said that 922 people have been killed and more than 4, 100 wounded, around half of them are civilians. All Hamas political and military leaders have been hiding for 17 days in the Gaza Strip.

The deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya said in a recorded video on Monday night that Hamas is working on two parallel tracks, the first is resistance and steadfastness, the second is the political track to confront the military aggression on the Palestinian people.

Haneya's speech, the second one since the beginning of the Israeli military offensive on the enclave on Dec. 27 last year, was broadcasted by the pro-Hamas al-Aqsa TV station.

(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2009)

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