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Israeli killed by rocket from Gaza
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An Israeli was killed and at least ten others wounded by a Palestinian Grad missile which exploded near a construction site in the coastal town of Ashkelon in southern Israel on Monday morning, a police spokesman told Xinhua.

According to Micky Rosenfeld, the spokesman, four of the wounded are in moderate condition while six suffered light injuries. Magen David Adom medical crews immediately evacuated the wounded to a nearby hospital.

Meanwhile, Israeli army declared the Gaza border area a closed military zone Monday morning, severely limiting movement in the area.

According to local daily Ha'aretz, 14 were wounded in the attack, most of them are construction workers. Five are in serious condition, four in moderate condition, and five suffered light injuries.

At least 12 rockets have been fired into Israel since Monday morning -- eight hit Ashkelon and four others struck various towns in the western Negev, said Ha'aretz, adding that no injuries or damage have been reported in the other attacks.

On Sunday, Palestinians militants in the Gaza Strip launched a barrage of at least 40 rockets at the western Negev, as the Israel Air Force continued to pound the coastal territory for a second day.

On Saturday, an Israeli was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in southern Israel. Three others sustained light to serious wounds in the cross-border attack at the southern town of Netivot.

The casualties on the Israeli side came after the Jewish state carried out simultaneous air strikes on Saturday at tens of targets in the Hamas-ruled enclave, so far killing about 310 people, in an operation in response to the continuing rocket attacks at southern Israel.

Amid worries that Gazan militants would carry out a massive rocket barrage in retaliation following Saturday's raids, Israeli authorities have put communities near the Gaza border on alert and urged local residents to avoid gathering in public sites and stay in shelter rooms.

(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2008)

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