Gaza militants fire rocket at southern Israel

Updated: 2015-06-12 09:41


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JERUSALEM - Militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at southern Israel on Thursday night, Israeli military officials said.

The rocket triggered sirens in the regional council of Hof Ashkelon and in Asheklon, a town about 14.5 km from the Gaza border, military and police officials said. Residents told Israel Radio that they heard an explosion.

A military spokesperson told Xinhua the rocket may have landed very close to the border or even inside the Palestinian enclave, but security forces are still searching the area for a fallen rocket inside Israel.

On Saturday, a rocket hit the Ashkelon area, causing no injuries or damages. Israeli warplanes carried an airstrike at "terror targets" in response, a military spokesperson said.

Last Wednesday, a Jihadist Salafi organization that supports the Islamic State claimed responsibility for another rocket attack.

The organization said the rockets were launched in response to the killing of one of their leaders by Hamas, a larger Islamist organization which controls Gaza.

The Salafi group and Hamas are in struggle over the control of the Gaza Strip.

The latest rocket fire was the fourth incident in less than three weeks, prompting concerns of escalation on both sides less than a year after a fragile cease-fire concluded 50 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The war resulted in the deaths of more than 2,200 Palestinians and nearly 80 Israelis (mostly soldiers, as well as several civilians struck by rockets) and massive destruction to Gaza's infrastructure.