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Palestinian rocket injures 14 in Israel

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TEL AVIV, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - At least 14 Israelis were injured as a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a shopping center in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, medical workers said on Wednesday.

Three people are reported to be in a critical condition, two sustained moderate injuries and nine are said to have minor wounds. Rescue workers are now examining the site to "make sure there are no people left in the debris," one of the medical staff said.

The attack came shortly after the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush, who had arrived in Israel to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Hebrew state.

Three Palestinian militant groups have claimed responsibility for the attack - al-Quds Brigades, an armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees involved in a number of bombing attacks in the Gaza Strip, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small leftist militant organization.

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