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Israel strikes Gaza after anti-Hamas militant rocket fire Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel strikes Gaza after anti-Hamas militant rocket fire

An airstrike on Gaza which has been besieged for the past decade [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 October, 2017

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A Palestinian jihadi militant group made a failed attempt to fire a rocket into Israel on Sunday night, leading to retaliatory shelling into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army shelled Gaza after a failed attempt by a militant group to fire a rocket into Israel on Sunday night, its army said.

It was initially believed that the rocket was fired by Hamas, but it was later revealed that a Salafist-jihadi group may have tried to fire the rocket according to a Haaretz report.

The rocket was believed to have hit southern Israel on late Sunday but actually fell inside the airspace of the besieged Gaza Strip due to a suspected mechanical failure.

Despite this, the Israeli army said that it holds Hamas - that controls the territory - responsible for the attempted firing.

"As the rocket fire endangered Israeli citizens and violated Israeli sovereignty, a tank targeted and destroyed a Hamas observation point in the southern Gaza Strip," the Israeli army said in a statement.

There have been no reports of casualties.

Islamic State group-inspired jihadists in Gaza have long been opposed to Hamas.

Days before Sunday's attempted attack, Hamas arrested a number of militants within the besieged enclave.

In August, a Hamas security guard and a member of a rival Palestinian faction were killed in Gaza after a confrontation with a suicide attacker, security sources said.

The attack was the first time Hamas security forces have been targeted by a suicide bomber in Gaza.

"A security force stopped two persons who approached the border. One of them blew himself up and was killed. The other was wounded," the Gaza's Hamas-run interior ministry said in a statement.

 

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