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Missiles, rocket fly between Israel, Gaza

An Israeli artillery unit fires from southern Israel toward northern Gaza on Sunday.




GAZA CITY (CNN) -- New Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza on Sunday, Palestinian sources said, killing one Palestinian and wounding more than a dozen others as Israel continued its push to free a kidnapped soldier.

Five Palestinian militants were wounded, one critically, when an Israeli missile hit a car in downtown Gaza City late Sunday, the sources said.

And one man was killed and seven others -- including three Hamas militants -- were wounded when Israeli aircraft attacked two cars early Sunday east of Rafah, in southern Gaza, Palestinian security and medical sources said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said one man was wounded by a Palestinian Qassam rocket attack on the Israeli border town of Sderot. More than two dozen rockets fired from northern Gaza since Friday have landed in Israel, causing minor injuries and damage, the Israel Defense Forces reported.

Israel also struck what it called a weapons-manufacturing facility in southern Gaza around midnight Sunday. The Israeli military said it was run by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

Palestinian security sources said the facility was an unoccupied weapons warehouse. No injuries were reported.

The latest attacks come two weeks after the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, a 19-year-old army corporal seized by Palestinian militants in a raid on an Israeli military post.

The kidnapping provoked an Israeli military campaign aimed at securing Shalit's release and ending Palestinian attacks against Israel.

Israel rejected a weekend call for calm on all sides by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, saying it would not halt operations in Gaza until those goals are met.

"The IDF will continue to act with determination against terrorist organizations and terror infrastructure in order to create the conditions for the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and to stop terror attacks and the launching of rockets towards Israel," a military statement said Sunday.

The Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority has called on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit's freedom. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has refused.

On Sunday, Olmert said Israel had considered releasing prisoners as a goodwill gesture before Gilad's kidnapping.

"It's not a secret before the kidnapping that we would free prisoners," he said. "But we intended to release them to moderate elements and not to terrorist elements."

But releasing prisoners now "means destroying the moderates in the Palestinian Authority, and would signal to the world that Israel can only talk to extremists," Olmert said.

On Saturday, the Palestinian government issued a statement saying it wants to deal with the standoff diplomatically and to intensify negotiations regarding Shalit. Hamas has said the soldier is alive and in good condition.

IDF remains in parts of Gaza's south, east

Israeli forces remain stationed in parts of Gaza's eastern region and in the south, where they are focused on the airport and vacant buildings that are potential militant hideouts.

The IDF reported several military maneuvers earlier Sunday, including an aerial attack against a group of armed gunmen near the Sajaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, an attack on a Fatah post near Khan Yunis and an attack on a bridge south of Beit Hanoun.

Palestinians said four people were wounded in the Sajaiya incident.

"There are some aircraft shooting some deterrent fire" at suspected militant cells in Dahaniya in southern Gaza, said an Israeli government official. "The purpose of that is basically to prevent rocket-launching cells from launching and firing their rockets."

He denied reports that Israeli troops have re-entered northern Gaza. Israeli soldiers and tanks left the area Saturday, after searching for tunnels near Beit Hanoun where militants might be hiding.

Israeli forces in Rafah were trying to prevent any attempt to smuggle the kidnapped soldier into Egypt, Israel Radio reported Sunday.

Palestinian medical sources say about 50 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since June 25, and about 175 were wounded. Israel has said its operations have targeted militants.

The Israeli military is investigating reports from Palestinian witnesses that an Israeli drone fired rockets Saturday on a house outside Gaza City, killing three people, including a 4-year-old girl.

The IDF said there was no artillery or tank fire in the area at the time of the incident. It said an airstrike targeted a group of gunmen carrying anti-tank missiles in a street in the area, but that the aerial attack did not hit a house.

CNN's Nidal Rafa contributed to this report.

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