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Israeli plane, tank hit Gaza after rocket attack by Palestinians

Israeli tanks and aircraft pounded Gaza strip on Saturday after a rocket fired by Palestinians slammed into southern Israel.

world Updated: Mar 18, 2017 18:53 IST
Gaza strip,Palestinians,Hamas
A picture taken on March 18, 2017 shows a blast crater at the site of a reported airstrike conducted by the Israeli military against a Hamas military training facility, north of Gaza City.(AFP)

A rocket fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip slammed into southern Israel on Saturday, prompting retaliatory Israeli air and tank strikes, sources on both sides said.

The Israeli army said the rocket hit an open area.

“No casualties have been reported,” it said.

“In response, a tank and aircraft targeted two Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip.”

Palestinian security officials said an Israeli aircraft attacked a military training facility of Gaza’s Hamas rulers, north of Gaza City and the tank fire targeted a Hamas observation post adjacent to Beit Lahiya in the north of the territory, close to the border with Israel.

They also reported no casualties.

Last month, Israeli warplanes and tanks pounded Gaza in response to a similar rocket launch, hitting Hamas military facilities and wounding four Palestinians, none of them seriously.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

Since the last one in 2014, a fragile ceasefire has been observed along the largely closed border.

Missiles and rockets are periodically fired at Israel, generally by hardline Islamist groups opposed to Hamas.

But Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza regardless of who carried it out.

First Published: Mar 18, 2017 18:50 IST