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Israeli airstrikes target northern Gaza

Oct. 28, 2013 10:49 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 30, 2013 5:32 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes targeted the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, Israel's army said, in the first airstrike on Gaza in over two months.

"In response to the numerous rockets and mortars launched at Israel in the past 24 hours, IAF aircraft targeted two concealed rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed," a statement said.

Witnesses said the attack targeted a training ground used by militants from the armed wing of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement west of Beit Lahiya, but no-one was hurt.

Several rockets were fired from Gaza early Monday, with one rocket intercepted by the Iron Dome system above Ashkelon, Israel's army said.

A mortar shell was fired from Gaza on Sunday, the army added.

No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets.

It was the first air strike since August 14 when the air force hit targets in the same area also in response to rocket fire, in a development which took place just hours after Israel released a first batch of Palestinian prisoners.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2007.

The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.

AFP contributed to this report
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