Palestinians fire rocket into southern Israel: Army

Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday, without causing casualties, the Army said, in an attack claimed by jihadists.

AFP| Updated: Aug 07, 2015, 23:49 PM IST

Jerusalem: Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday, without causing casualties, the Army said, in an attack claimed by jihadists.

"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 attack was answered within hours by an Israeli air strike on a training facility of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, near El Bureij refugee camp in the centre of the strip, Hamas security officials said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attack on the armed wing of the Islamic militant movement Hamas.

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

Earlier, a previously unheard of group calling itself "The Grandsons of the Companions of the Prophet" claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, saying it was "the first response by Salafist jihadists to Jewish attacks against Al-Aqsa".

Last month, Israeli police entered Jerusalem`s Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam`s holiest sites, as they clashed with Palestinians angered by Jews` 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 Judaism and 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 went to war against Hamas with the aim of stamping out cross-border rocket and mortar attacks.

The 50-day conflict killed about 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

It also caused heavy damage to Gaza`s infrastructure and destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of homes.