Rocket fired from Gaza hits Israel

Attack comes two days after the start of Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks launched in Washington.

     Rocket fire into southern Israel comes a day after Hamas fighters vowed to launch fresh attacks [Reuters]

    Fighters in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have fired a rocket into southern Israel, two days after the start of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Israeli military said.

    Saturday's cross-border rocket fire caused no injuries or damage and landed in an uninhabited area in the western part of the Negev desert, an army spokesman said.

    The rocket fire was the first since Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, met in Washington to relaunch direct peace negotiations.

    Netanyahu and Abbas agreed to keep talking and produce a framework for a permanent peace deal.

    But Hamas, whose fighters routed forces loyal to Abbas to take over the Gaza Strip in 2007, rejects Abbas' negotiations and has vowed to continue attacks against Israel.

    The group's armed wing claimed responsibility for two shooting attacks in the past week, including one that killed four Israelis in the West Bank, where Abbas leads the Palestinian Authority government.

    Abbas has repeatedly said he will present any peace deal to a national referendum, which would include the people of Gaza.

    A vote in favour of any peace agreement would then put heavy pressure on Hamas to accept the will of the Palestinian people.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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