Gaza IAF strike tunnels Reuters 14.7.11
Palestinians watch as a bulldozer works at the site of a smuggling tunnel that was damaged after an overnight Israeli air strike in Rafah in southern Gaza, July 14, 2011. Photo by Reuters
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Israel Air Force strikes left at least five Palestinians wounded and one missing early Friday in the Gaza Strip, witnesses and officials in the territory said.

The witnesses said that IAF fighter jets struck a smuggling tunnel under the border between southern Gaza and Egypt, where five people were wounded. The Israel Defense Forces spokesman's office said the strikes were in response to response to six homemade missiles fired by militants from Gaza toward towns in southern Israel, marking escalating tension along the Gaza border for the first time in two months.

Rescue teams rushed to the scene and sent three people with moderate wounds and two with minor injuries by ambulance to the nearby Rafah hospital, Gaza emergency chief Adham Abu Selmeyeh said.

Earlier, IAF jets carried out two airstrikes late Thursday against another smuggling tunnel and an empty area inside Gaza.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman had said Thursday that militants from the Gaza Strip fired a fourth homemade projectile at southern Israel.

In April, Israel and militant groups in Gaza reached a ceasefire agreement through mediators without making any official declaration.