GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Israeli artillery killed a Palestinian teenager in the Gaza Strip yesterday, and militants vowed to step up their attacks against Israel.
The army said the attack was conducted against militants who were launching rockets at Israel, including one that hit a town in the south of the country yesterday, causing no casualties.
The artillery fire in the northern town of Beit Hanoun hit a house, killing a 17-year-old Palestinian boy and slightly wounding a 2-year-old in a nearby home, doctors said.
Israel launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip on June 28 to stop militants firing rockets and to retaliate for an attack by Palestinian militants on an army outpost that killed two Israeli soldiers and captured a third.
Israel's Gaza offensive has killed nearly 160 Palestinians, most of them gunmen, and destroyed farmland, houses, government buildings, water pipelines, and electricity lines in the territory.
In a series of interviews yesterday, Palestinian militants vowed revenge for the offensive and threatened suicide bombings to avenge an Israeli airstrike Sunday in Qana, in southern Lebanon, that killed 56 people, including 37 children.
Abu Ahmad, spokesman for the Al Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the militant group Islamic Jihad, said his organization has urged all its field leaders to conduct as many bombings as possible.
He said the orders were initially issued after the last three days of fighting in the Gaza Strip. ``But now it is more urgent. The time won't be long before we'll hear news of the first bombers," he said.
Abu Qusay of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian group Fatah, pledged ``a new campaign for the victory of the Palestinians and the Lebanese."
Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Islamic militant group Hamas, which dominates the Palestinian government, said: ``There will be an increase in resistance action to prevent a continuation of these massacres."
Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official warned that increasing violence was sidelining moderates and reinforcing radicals.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told the French newspaper Le Monde that ``moderate Palestinians like me are losing during this crisis."
``How to make oneself heard on this point to a people that have long lost all hope? It's too late. Hamas is in power. And what is happening in Lebanon only reinforces this tendency," Erekat was quoted as saying.
He said the United States should not ``continue to treat Israel like a state above the law."