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Israeli forces attack positions in Gaza after rocket lands in Negev desert

July 24, 2017 9:44 A.M. (Updated: July 24, 2017 4:55 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces attacked the Gaza Strip with tank fire overnight Sunday, causing no injuries, a short while after the Israeli army said a projectile fired from the besieged coastal enclave landed in an open area in the Negev desert without causing injuries or damages.

Locals in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip told Ma'an that several Israeli tank shells landed in the area and caused no reported injuries.

However, a statement from the Israeli army said it targeted a Hamas post in the southern part of the small Palestinian territory.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas, Gaza's de facto leading party, of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole, while Israeli authorities hold Hamas responsible for all attacks against Israeli targets coming from the Gaza Strip.

However, Hamas has not claimed responsibility for any rocket attacks since a ceasefire was declared after Israel’s devastating war in Gaza in 2014, and the movement has attempted to clamp down on armed activity by smaller political groups that do launch rockets from the territory.

Shells have been fired from the blockaded coastal territory into Israel a number of times since the beginning of the year, without causing any casualties.

Israeli forces have launched airstrikes in retaliation, injuring at least seven Palestinians and damaging electricity infrastructure.

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