No casualties were immediately reported in Sunday's attack. Three rockets landed in the Negev Desert town of Sderot, and five others landed in open areas in nearby towns, a spokesman added.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops continued to operate in Rafah on the Egyptian border, including the densely populated Salem area.

Israel moved its troops from the Brazil refugee camp along the border early on Sunday, after a four-day raid in which they demolished at least 15 homes and killed four guerrillas and four bystanders, witnesses said.

Metres away

The troops and tanks redeployed just a few hundred metres from the camp. They could be back in the shantytown within minutes, witnesses said.

The army left roads destroyed by tanks and ripped up water pipes in their wake, the witnesses said. Electric and telephone cables were torn apart in the operation, they added. 

Masked fighters observe Friday prayers outside a Rafah mosque

In the West Bank city of Jenin, meanwhile, troops backed by tanks and armoured jeeps raided the offices of Islamic Jihad, confiscating computers and documents, witnesses said. Two fighters were also arrested in the operation, witnesses and the army said.

Israel launched its broadest military operation in six months in the Rafah area of Gaza on 10 October, six days after an Islamic Jihad bombing of a Haifa restaurant killed 23 people.

Tunnels

Israel claims Palestinians use tunnels – which sometimes surface in homes - to smuggle arms from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Egypt denies that weapons enter Palestinian lands from its territory.

The military has said it has intelligence warnings that the Palestinians may be trying to smuggle more advanced weapons, such as anti-aircraft missiles, through the tunnels. The Rafah operation, the army has said, is to uncover and destroy the tunnels.