Israeli airstrikes target Gaza launching pads, building

Israeli aircraft fired missiles at an abandoned building and a rocket launching ground in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, in the first aerial attack on Gaza in more than a month, the military said.

Palestinian security officials said missiles also struck a charity belong to the Islamic Jihad militant group. A bystander was slightly wounded by flying shrapnel, they said.

The Israeli military said, without elaborating, that it targeted a building used for terror operations and open fields where homemade rockets had been launched in recent days. No one was injured, it said.

Palestinians said the building was an abandoned metal workshop. Israel targets workshops it suspects are used to produce producing weapons.

After a lull of several weeks, Palestinians began firing homemade rockets at southern Israel from Gaza again last week. Israel responded initially with artillery fire; the air strike Sunday was the first since Oct. 27, the military said.

Some Palestinian officials say the attacks on Israel, which have caused no injuries, have been renewed in an effort to show force ahead of Jan. 25 Palestinian parliamentary elections.

In other developments, the military announced it would let 6,000 more Palestinian laborers into Israel, for a total of 16,000 in the West Bank Bank and 7,000 in Gaza. An additional 1,500 Palestinian merchants will also be let in, for a total of 12,500 in the West Bank and 2,000 in Gaza.

The entry of Palestinian laborers into Israel has been severely restricted over the past five years in response to violence, dealing a crushing blow to the Palestinian economy, reported AP. P.T.

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