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Israel strikes Hamas after rocket fired from Gaza

Israel struck Hamas sites in the besieged Gaza strip in response to rocket fire [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 March, 2020

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The flare-up came despite both Israelis and Palestinians being largely confined to their homes amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Israel struck Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip late on Friday in response to a rocket fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave, Israel's military said.

The army said the rocket was fired on Friday evening without giving further details.

Local media reported that the rocket landed in open ground without injuring anyone, though thousands of residents of southern Israel rushed to bomb shelters.

"In response... aircraft and a tank targeted infrastructure used for underground activity as well as military posts belonging to the Hamas terror organisation," Israel's army said.

A security source in Gaza confirmed a number of Israeli strikes on a Hamas base near Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, with no reports of injuries.

The flareup came as Israelis throughout the country were largely confined to their homes due to the coronavirus emergency.

The rocket fire was the first such attack since a two-day cross border flareup between Israel and Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in late February.

Read more: 'May God help us': Panic grips caged Gaza Strip after first coronavirus cases

During that incident Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza after the strip's Islamist rulers Hamas, fired more than 80 rockets and mortar rounds towards Israel after the army killed a militant who was allegedly planting a bomb on the border on February 23.

Gaza reported seven more cases of coronavirus on Thursday. The United Nations has warned that a Covid-19 outbreak in Gaza could be disastrous, given the high poverty rates and weak health system in the coastal strip under Israeli blockade since 2007.

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