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Israel launches airstrike on Gaza

18 October 2012, 11:45

Jerusalem - Israeli airplanes carried out a sortie in the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday morning, the army said, hours after a rocket from the enclave exploded in southern Israel.

Military "aircraft targeted a terror activity site in the northern Gaza Strip. A direct hit was confirmed", a statement read.

"The site was targeted in response to the rocket fire at southern Israel," the army explained in the statement.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from Gaza.

On Tuesday night, militants from the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at southern Israel that exploded near a home, causing damage but no casualties, police said, two days after the latest cross-border violence abated.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said "a rocket fired at the Lakhish region exploded in the yard of a home, causing minor damages to the building. Two people were treated for shock".

First strike

The rocket was the first to be fired since Sunday, when five missiles from the enclave hit southern Israel.

The latest bout of unrest began on 7 October when an Israeli air strike targeted two Salafists in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, killing one and critically wounding the second.

Five children and three adults were also wounded in the strike, prompting a rare armed response from Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, who fired a barrage of rockets at Israel.

The violence rumbled on until the weekend, when several Israeli air strikes killed five militants, including a top Salafist leader.

According to the Israeli army, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired at southern Israel over 505 projectiles since the beginning of 2012, of them over 45 in October.

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



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