For the second time in the last five days, Israel bombed the empty Palestinian Foreign Ministry building in Gaza on Monday, pressing ahead with a three-week-old military campaign to free captured solider Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
The ongoing military offensive in Gaza, which continues on a low boil amid the more intense fighting with Hizbullah in Lebanon, was launched after a daring cross-border Hamas raid last month on an Israeli military outpost, in which two soldiers were killed and Shalit was abducted.
Monday's night-time bom-bing of the Foreign Ministry further damaged the office, and dozens of nearby houses, wounding nine people, the Associated Press reported from Gaza.
The IDF said that it attacked the ministry office as part of its military campaign against Hamas following Shalit's abduction, adding that Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar used the office "to plan anti-Israel operations." Israel bombed the same building on Thursday.
Separately, Israeli troops also clashed with Palestinian gunmen in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun, killing two and wounding four others.