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At Least 17 Wounded in Gaza Blast

Palestinian security officials say an explosion in the home of a Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip has wounded at least 17 people.

Hamas says an Israeli air strike caused the explosion early Monday, but the Israeli military has denied involvement.

Earlier, Israeli aircraft attacked two tunnels used by smugglers in the southern Gaza Strip in response to a rocket attack Saturday from Gaza into Israel.

The Israeli military said Sunday jets hit two Gaza targets, just hours after a Qassam rocket hit a building in the Israeli border town of Sderot.

Gaza militants said the Israeli air strike caused damage, but no casualties.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that Israel holds the Palestinian militant group Hamas responsible for the violence in Gaza. Hamas rules the Palestinian territory.

In other news, Israeli President Shimon Peres traveled to Egypt Sunday for talks about the Middle East peace process.

Mr. Peres and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed a proposal that Palestinians and Israelis move to direct peace talks. The Arab League recently endorsed the idea of direct talks, but only when the Palestinians are ready to proceed.

Palestinian officials said Saturday that U.S. President Barack Obama wrote a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas saying relations may suffer if the Palestinians refuse to resume direct peace talks with Israel. Mr. Netanyahu has been pushing for direct negotiations.

President Abbas has refused to enter direct negotiations unless Israel stops settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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