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Israel Launches Air Strikes Into Gaza After Fatal Blast In Jerusalem

Paramedics rush to the aid of wounded man at the explosion near Jerusalem's Central Bus Station.
Israel launched an air strike into northern Gaza today amid an escalation of violence that has seen Palestinian militants fire dozens of rockets and mortars into southern Israel.

The attack by Israel followed a car bomb near Jerusalem's busy Central Bus Station on March 23 that killed at least one person and injured more than 20. Israeli authorities blamed Palestinian militants for the blast, which was the first such fatal attack in Jerusalem in several years.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Washington that both sides should do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties. But she said it was necessary for Israel to respond:

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the bombing in Jerusalem that took at least one life and injured innocent civilians. Terrorism and the targeting of civilians are never justified and Israel, like all nations of course, has to respond when this occurs,” she said.

Israel said the air strikes targeted militant training compounds and other operations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed his departure to Russia following the bus station blast. He had been scheduled to meet with Russian leaders in Moscow and return today.

compiled from news agencies