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Hamas denies firing rocket that hit house near Tel Aviv: Hamas official

AFP , Monday 25 Mar 2019
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades
File Photo: Fighters from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, take part in a military show in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis on December 5, 2017 (Photo: AFP)
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A Hamas official denied Israel's accusation that it was behind Monday's rocket strike north of Tel Aviv which wounded seven Israelis and led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to vow a strong response.

"No one from the resistance movements, including Hamas, has an interest in firing rockets from the Gaza Strip towards the enemy," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, evoking the possibility that it may have been caused by "bad weather".

He added that the same message had been delivered to Egypt, which has acted as mediator between Israel and Hamas.

Israel's army said the rocket was fired by Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, from the Rafah area in the south of the enclave.

It hit a house located in the community of Mishmeret, around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tel Aviv, police said.

The rocket would have had to travel some 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Rafah to hit the house.

Rocket fire from Gaza at that distance is rare.

Netanyahu said he was cutting short a trip to Washington due to the incident while Israel's army sent reinforcements to the Gaza area.

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