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Gaza Terror Rocket Fired into Southern Israel on Shabbat

JERUSALEM (AFP) –  A rocket fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip slammed into southern Israel on Saturday, prompting retaliatory Israeli tank fire, sources on both sides said.

The Israeli army said the rocket hit an open area. “No casualties have been reported.”

Palestinian security officials said the Israeli tank fire targeted an observation post of Gaza’s Hamas rulers, near Beit Lahiya in the north of the territory, close to the border with Israel.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the tank fire “in response to the rocket attack”.

Last month, Israeli warplanes and tanks pounded Gaza in response to a similar rocket launch, hitting Hamas military facilities and wounding four Palestinians, none of them seriously.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

Since the last one in 2014, a fragile ceasefire has been observed along the largely closed border.

Missiles and rockets are periodically fired at Israel, generally by hardline Islamist groups opposed to Hamas.

But Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza regardless of who carried it out.

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