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Israel launches airstrike on Gaza in retaliation for Israeli death

A three-year-old Palestinian girl was reported killed in the airstrike on Gaza, which Israel launched after a sniper shot an Israeli civilian.

3 year old palestinian girl killed israeli air strikeEnlarge
A relative of three-year-old Palestinian girl Hala Abu Sabikha identifies her as she lies in the morgue of a hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on December 24, 2013. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli airstrikes reportedly killed a three-year-old Palestinian girl Tuesday, when the shells fell on Maghazi refugee camp.

The BBC cited doctors saying the girl's mother and two brothers were also wounded in the airstrike.

Medics named the girl as Hala Abu Sabikha from the central Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military confirmed it had carried out an airstrike on Gaza Tuesday, in retaliation for the shooting of an Israeli civilian.

The man, who was reportedly doing maintenance work on the border, was shot by a Gazan sniper and pronounced dead on Tuesday.

Israeli media identified the man as Salah Abu Latif, 22, a civilian employee of the IDF killed on his first day on the job at Israel-Gaza border.

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He was the first Israeli killed on the Gaza border in over a year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier Tuesday that the sniper shooting would provoke a response.

"This is a very severe incident and we will not let it go unanswered," he said in a statement.

"Our policy until now has been to act beforehand and to respond in force, and this is how we will act regarding this incident as well."

The Israeli Defense Forces released this statement about the airstrike:

A Gaza sniper killed an Israeli civilian early Tuesday by firing a single bullet at his chest. The individual was shot while doing maintenance along the Israel-Gaza security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. This is the first Israeli civilian killed in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense.

In response, IAF aircrafts and IDF tanks and infantry retaliated and targeted terror sites in the Gaza Strip. The sites targeted were a weapon manufacturing facility and a terror infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip, a terror site and another terror infrastructure in the central Gaza Strip, and a concealed rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed.

Noga Tarnopolsky contributed to this report from Israel.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/131224/israel-launches-airstrike-gaza-retalia