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Israel airstrikes hit Gaza after rocket attacks

Rocket fire from a presumed jihadist group struck Israel on Tuesday.

By Ed Adamczyk
Israel airstrikes hit Gaza after rocket attacks
The Israeli Air Force bombed Hamas targets in Gaza Thursday (CC/ wikimedia.org/ Flayer)

JERUSALEM, June 4 (UPI) -- Israeli airstrikes Thursday on sites it claimed were Hamas training grounds followed rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza the day before.

The Israeli military said two rockets were fired Wednesday night at the Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Netivot, on the Gaza border; neither caused any casualties or damage. The response was three airstrikes by the Israel Defense Force on "terrorist infrastructure" within Gaza, in the central Gaza Strip and in the southern city of Khan Yunis. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

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It was the second time in a week Israel was struck by rocket fire from Gaza. A new jihadist group in Gaza, the Omar Brigades, took responsibility for the earlier attack and said Wednesday's assault was retribution for the death of a member Tuesday during a crackdown on militant groups by Hamas, the governing agency of Gaza. Hamas has claimed fringe groups are undermining is control of Gaza and provoking new tension with Israel.

Gaza is still rebuilding from a 50-day war with Israel last summer.

Israel Defense Minister Yoshe Ya'alon said the recent rocket fire into Israel is likely the work of "rogue groups," but added Hamas positions were targeted in the airstrikes because "Hamas is responsible for what is happening in the (Gaza) Strip."

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