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Israel Fires at Gaza After Rockets Hit Near Israeli Defense Minister's Home

Israel has fired artillery at targets in the Gaza Strip after rockets launched from Gaza hit a residential area in Defense Minister Amir Peretz's home town, Sderot.

No casualties were reported in the Israeli shelling.

One of the rockets fired at Israel landed near Mr. Peretz's home Wednesday. Two residents of an apartment complex nearby went into shock and were evacuated to a nearby hospital.

Peretz visited the scene Wednesday and warned that continued rocket attacks on Israel would be disastrous for Palestinians. He told residents Israel would find a way to prevent the attacks.

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's rocket attacks.

On Tuesday, four Palestinians were killed in a Gaza gunbattle, near the town of Beit Lahiya with Israeli troops, who were making their deepest incursion into the Palestinian territory since Israel withdrew from Gaza last year. The Israeli military says the Palestinians were preparing to fire rockets into Israel.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Jewish settlers south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank pelted an Israeli police patrol with stones. Reports say the police were surrounded and fired into the air before withdrawing.

Some settler groups are angry at the Israeli government for its plan to evacuate 24 Jewish outposts on the West Bank. The government says they are illegal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.