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Thursday, June 4, 2015, 09:31

Israel strikes Hamas post in Gaza

By Associated Press

 Israel strikes Hamas post in Gaza
Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, watch an Israeli bulldozer working along a barbed wire fence that separates Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and the Israeli border, on June 03, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

JERUSALEM - Israeli airstrikes hit Hamas training sites in Gaza early Thursday in response to earlier rocket fire toward Israel from the strip, the Israeli military said. Gaza's militant Hamas group said there were no casualties in the attack after they had evacuating their posts earlier in anticipation of the Israeli retaliation.

Rocket fire has mostly subsided since last summer's war between Hamas and Israel but there has been some occasionally.

A Jihadist Salafi group that supports the Islamic State took responsibility for the rocket attack toward Israel, the second time it has done so in a week.

Hamas, which has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since 2007, sees the radical group as a threat. The group said the attack was to retaliate the killing of one of its members at the hands of Hamas. A day before that killing the group gave Hamas a 48-hour ultimatum to end its crackdown on the Salafis.

Even so, Israel considers Gaza's Hamas rulers responsible for any attacks originating from the area it controls.

"When the sirens sounded this evening in Israel more than 140,000 Israeli lives were at jeopardy. Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live normal lives but instead Hamas chooses to use the Gaza Strip as a launch pad for rocket attacks,'' said military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. "The IDF will act against the aggression, will act against those that wish to terrorize Israel and will act to protect Israelis in the line of indiscriminate Gaza rocket fire.''


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