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Middle East

Israel attacks two sites in Gaza Strip

Army claims to have hit an underground rocket launcher and a "terror site" in Gaza in response to an earlier attack.

Last updated: 11 Feb 2014 08:19
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The Israeli military says it has hit an underground rocket launcher and a "terror site" in two air strikes in the occupied Gaza Strip.

An unnamed Israeli army spokesman told the AFP news agency on Tuesday that the overnight attack came in response to a rocket fired from Gaza that struck the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

"In retaliation the IAF [Israeli Air Force] targeted an underground rocket launcher in the central Gaza Strip and a terror site in the northern Gaza Strip," he said.

Palestinian security sources said the first Israeli raid targeted a training camp of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, near the Nuseirat refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip.

The second raid struck in the northern part of the strip near the community of Beit Lahiya, the security sources said.

No injuries were reported from Gaza or Israel.

Spike in violence

Violence has spiked in recent weeks along the Gaza-Israel border after a period of relative calm following a 2012 battle between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

The military says more than 30 rockets have been launched toward Israel since the start of 2014, AP news agency reported.

Israel this week targeted a fighter accused of carrying out numerous rocket attacks on Israel. The man, identified as Abdallah Kharti, was critically wounded in the strike.

The increase in Israeli raids and Palestinian rocket attacks as well as border incidents in the last few weeks raise the possibility of a major new confrontation between Israel and the Hamas movement, which has run Gaza since 2007, AFP reported.

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