Israel targets Gaza after rocket attack, no casualties reported

No immediate reports of deaths or injuries in overnight rocket attack from Gaza and Israeli air raids that followed.

    A ball of fire from an Israeli interception missile from the Iron Dome defence system intercepts an incoming rocket [File: Anadolu Agency]
    A ball of fire from an Israeli interception missile from the Iron Dome defence system intercepts an incoming rocket [File: Anadolu Agency]

    Israeli warplanes attacked an area in the Gaza Strip early on Thursday after Palestinian fighters in the enclave fired a rocket towards southern Israel.

    Successive air attacks targeted sites in Gaza City that the Israeli military said was "a Hamas weapons manufacturing site".

    According to the Palestinian Maan News Agency, the air raids struck the previous site of a Palestinian intelligence building, known as the Safeena, with five missiles. 

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    The fierce bombings illuminated the sky in northwest Gaza City and the sound jolted residents out of sleep.

    "Overnight, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory," an Israeli army statement said.

    There were no immediate reports of injuries in the overnight rocket attack or the air raids that followed.

    No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

    Shaky truce

    Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 and Israel holds the movement responsible for all rocket fire coming from the territory, although it has targeted other armed groups there.

    With help from Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations, Hamas and Israel are seeking to strengthen "understandings" meant to bolster calm and prevent further cross-border violence.

    Through the shaky truce, Hamas hopes to mitigate the economic and health effects of a 12-year-old Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza.

    On Wednesday, a Qatari envoy said Doha will continue its aid projects in Gaza through 2020, which is crucial to support peace.

    The air raids on Thursday hit near the hotel in which the envoy, Mohammed Al-Emadi, was staying.

    Last month, Israeli forces assassinated a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, sparking a two-day flare-up that killed 36 Palestinians.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies