BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel attacks in Gaza Strip after rocket fire

Palestinians mourn during the funeral of Mohammed Makawi at a mosque in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip October 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmed Zakot

JERUSALEM: The Israeli air force launched attacks at three sites in the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, the military said, hours after a rocket fired from the enclave exploded near a house in southern Israel.

A statement from the army said that its "aircraft targeted a terror activity site in the northern Gaza Strip, and two terror activity sites in the central Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed."

"The sites were targeted in response to the rocket fire towards southern Israel," the statement added.

On Friday night, Gaza militants fired a Grad rocket that exploded in the yard of a residential building in the southern Israeli town of Netivot.

One person was taken for medical treatment suffering from shock, and the building was damaged by the rocket.

On Thursday, Israeli warplanes raided a training camp of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement, several hours after Gaza militants fired two rockets into southern Israel.

On Wednesday the Israeli air force struck targets in northern Gaza, also without causing casualties. A small group of radical Salafists in a statement sent to AFP said it had fired rockets was in response to air strikes on Gaza.

Earlier in the week, the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired a barrage of projectiles at southern Israel a day after warplanes raided the southern city of Rafah, targeting two men the military said were global jihad activists.

The two were critically wounded and one later died of his injuries. Another eight people were wounded, among them five children.

Monday's rocket fire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants marked a rare show of force given that the two group normally observe a de facto truce on rocket fire on Israel.

The last time Hamas militants fired on Israel was during a flareup in June when militant groups fired more than 150 rockets, wounding five people, and Israel hit back with air strikes that killed 15 Palestinians.

According to the Israeli military, over 480 projectiles have been fired at southern Israel from Gaza since the beginning of 2012.

 

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