National/World

Israeli airstrikes kill 15 Gaza militants

Saturday, March 10, 2012
A Palestinian tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, March 10, 2012. The airstrike killed Popular Resistance Committees militant Mahdi Abu Shawesh. Despite Egyptian efforts to mediate a cease-fire, both sides remained defiant with Palestinians firing more than 100 rockets, some striking major cities in southern Israel, and the military responding with the targeted killings of more than 15 militants. (AP Photo)

A Palestinian tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, March 10, 2012. The airstrike killed Popular Resistance Committees militant Mahdi Abu Shawesh. Despite Egyptian efforts to mediate a cease-fire, both sides remained defiant with Palestinians firing more than 100 rockets, some striking major cities in southern Israel, and the military responding with the targeted killings of more than 15 militants. (AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Israel has been trading airstrikes and rocket fire with Palestinian militants in Gaza for a second consecutive day, killing 15 of the militants.

Egypt has been trying to mediate a cease-fire, but Palestinians fired more than 100 rockets into southern Israel. Some of the rockets hit major cities and one Israeli civilian was seriously wounded.

Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted more than 25 rockets. The military responded with more than a dozen airstrikes and the targeted killings of Palestinian militants from various Gaza organizations.

Tit-for-tat exchanges between Israel and Palestinians have been routine since the 2009 war, but a flare-up of this intensity is rare. The Arab League called the Israeli attacks a "massacre."

The United Nations has condemned the violence and is calling on both sides to exercise restraint

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