Israeli air strikes continue as fighting enters second week

GAZA/TEL AVIV Israel bombed what it said were underground tunnels used by Hamas, and Palestinian militants fired rocket barrages at Israeli cities as fighting spilled into a second week yesterday .

After a night of heavy Israeli air strikes on areas across the Hamas-run enclave, Israel's military said Gaza militants had fired about 60 rockets towards Israeli cities overnight, down from 120 and 200 the two previous nights.

One Palestinian was killed in an air strike later in the morning, medics said.

After rockets were fired from Gaza at the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ashkelon, Israeli jets bombed what the military said were 15km of underground tunnels used by Hamas.

It also struck nine residences belonging to high-ranking Hamas commanders, it said.

A top commander with Islamic militant group in Gaza, Hussam Abu Harbeed, was killed, sources told Reuters.

"My children couldn't sleep all night even after the wave of intensive bombing stopped," said Ms Umm Naeem, 50, a mother of five in Gaza.

"What is happening to us is too much..."

Gaza health officials put the death toll since the hostilities flared at 198, including 58 children and 34 women.

Ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children, the Israeli authorities said.

Hamas began its rocket assault on May 10 after tensions over a court case to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near the city's al-Aqsa Mosque. - REUTERS