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June 3, 2018 10:21 am

Israel Strikes Hamas Sites in Gaza After Terrorists Fire Rockets

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A Gaza rocket that hit southern Israel. Photo: Ronit Minaker.

Gaza terrorists fired rockets at Israel on Saturday drawing retaliatory Israeli air strikes on Hamas sites, the Israeli military said, a few days after the area’s most intense fighting in years.

At least four projectiles were fired from Gaza at Israel, the military said in a statement, adding that three were intercepted and one fell short.

Rocket alerts sounded in Israeli towns and villages near the border after dark, sending residents rushing to shelters. None of Gaza’s terror groups claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

Residents in Gaza said Israeli aircraft struck at least three sites belonging to Hamas, the Islamist group which controls the enclave.

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The Israeli military confirmed in a statement it had carried out the air strikes, adding that “the Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for all events that transpire in the Gaza Strip and emanate from it.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties in any of the incidents.

Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza reached a de facto ceasefire this week after the most intense flare-up of hostilities since a 2014 war, both sides signaling they did not want a wider escalation.

Terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired dozens of rockets and mortar bombs at southern Israel throughout Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday, to which Israel responded with tank fire and air strikes on more than 50 targets in the small, coastal enclave.

Violence along the Israel-Gaza frontier has surged in recent weeks. At least 120 Palestinians — most of them terrorists trying to launch attacks — have been killed by Israeli troops during mass riots along the Gaza border that began on March 30.

Some two million Palestinians are packed into the narrow coastal territory. Israel withdrew its troops and citizens from Gaza in 2005, but maintains control of its land and sea borders, citing security concerns.

Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

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