Palestinian rocket fire draws Israeli strikes on Gaza

STORY: There were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza or Israel, which intercepted the rocket that was launched toward the city of Ashkelon, setting off air raid sirens and sending residents to bomb shelters.

Israel said Hamas, the Islamist militant group which controls Gaza, fired the rocket.

"In response to the rocket attack, Israel Defence Forces aircraft struck a number of Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip," the Israeli military said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Hamas's political wing, Hazem Qassem, declined to comment on the Israeli allegation and referred Reuters to the group's military wing which did not immediately comment.

The Israel-Gaza frontier has been relatively calm since May 2021, when Israel and Palestinian militants fought an 11-day war.

Although Saturday's cross-border fire did not appear to signal a wider escalation, violence has risen in the occupied West Bank and in Israel in recent months.

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