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2 Gazans wounded in Israel air strike after rocket fire

AFP , Friday 7 Aug 2015
File Photo: Smoke rises in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli strike August 3, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

A retaliatory Israeli air strike on Hamas's military wing in the Gaza Strip wounded two people Friday, a Palestinian official said, following a rocket attack on Israel.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that one person was seriously hurt and the other moderately in the strike on a training facility of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, near El Bureij refugee camp in the centre of the strip.

He did not identify the casualties.

A rocket was fired earlier from Gaza into southern Israel, the Israeli army said.

In an attack claimed by jihadists, Gaza militants earlier fired a rocket into southern Israel, without causing casualties, the Israeli army said.

"A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel," it said in a statement. "No injuries reported."

Israeli media said at least one other rocket was fired but fell short and landed in the Palestinian territory.

The air force "targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure in the central Gaza Strip. A direct hit was confirmed," Israel's military said.

Hamas is the de factor power in Gaza and Israel formally holds it responsible for any attack launched from the coastal territory.

"Hamas must fulfil its responsibilities or face the consequences," the army statement said.

Earlier, a previously unheard of group calling itself "The Grandsons of the Companions of the Prophet" claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

The rocket fire was "the first response by Salafist jihadists to Jewish attacks against Al-Aqsa", it said.

Last month, Israeli police entered Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque as they clashed with Palestinians angered by Jews' being granted access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning.

The mosque compound, one of the most volatile sites in the Middle East, is the most sacred site in Islam's third holiest, after Mecca and Medina.

In Gaza, Salafists have made no secret of their disdain for Hamas over its observance of a tacit ceasefire with Israel and failure to implement Islamic law.

Last summer, Israel launched a 5-day military offensive on Gaza, killing about 2,220 Palestinians. On the Israeli side, 73 people were killed, mostly soldiers.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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