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Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Kills 2 Palestinians


Palestinian witnesses say an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip has killed two people.

They say the attack took place near the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun early Friday.

The Israeli army says the men were collecting a rocket launcher that was used over the past week to fire rockets into Israel.

More than 200 Palestinians - nearly half of them civilians - have been killed in the past three months of an Israeli offensive against militants in Gaza.

In other news, at least 10,000 Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza refugee camp of Jabaliya in support of the militant group Hamas and the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

Next week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to the Middle East to explore ways to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The State Department says Rice will leave Sunday on the trip that will take her to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Spokesman Sean McCormack said Rice's agenda will also include what he called regional threats to peace such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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