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Hamas militants say targeting Israeli army sites

June 20, 2012 4:50 P.M. (Updated: June 21, 2012 3:10 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas' armed wing said it fired a barrage of rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli military targets on Wednesday in response to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The Al-Qassam Brigades said it fired 24 rockets, 10 missiles and nine mortars at Israeli army bases since dawn Wednesday.

"These operations are part of the repelling operations against the (Israeli) occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank, and as a response for the ongoing aggression against Palestinian people," the brigades said in a statement.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said at least 20 rockets were fired into southern Israel on Wednesday, without causing injuries.

A border policeman was wounded by a rocket on Tuesday night, she said. A rocket fired from Gaza had exploded inside a border police base in south Israel.

Israel has killed eight Palestinians in airstrikes and tank shelling on the Gaza Strip since Monday, including two Hamas militants.

Hamas joined in the hostilities on Tuesday, for the first time in over a year. The Al-Qassam Brigades usually holds its fire under an unofficial truce and Hamas in the past has discouraged smaller militant groups from firing at Israel.

Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for all attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said Tuesday that Israel's attacks prompted the group's military wing "to take a firm stance" and launch rockets.

The Al-Mujahedin Brigades, the armed wing of the Al-Mujahedin movement, said in a statement that it fired 12 rockets at Israeli targets on Wednesday.

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades -- the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- said it fired two rockets across the border in a joint operation with the Shuhada Al-Aqsa - Karama army.

The Popular Resistance Committees' Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades said it launched seven rockets into Israel and the Abdul Qader Husseini Brigades said it fired a grad rocket toward Ashkelon.

The Al-Ansar brigades, the armed wing of the Al-Ahrar movement, said it fired 11 rockets into Israel on Wednesday afternoon in response to Israeli aggression.
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