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Israel launches strikes on Hamas in Gaza after rocket

Smoke rises above buildings in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip during reported Israeli strikes. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Gaza Mar 25, 2019, 10.04 PM (IST)

Israel's military launched strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, the army and witnesses said, hours after a rocket from the Palestinian enclave hit a house and wounded seven Israelis.

Witnesses and a security source in Gaza told AFP there had been at least two strikes on a site belonging to Hamas's military wing in the west of the Gaza Strip.

Details were not yet clear on the strikes.

Israel's military said in a statement it "has begun striking Hamas terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip."

The strikes began around the same time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US President Donald Trump in Washington.

Netanyahu had earlier vowed a strong response to the rocket that hit a house north of Tel Aviv in a rare long-distance strike.

The house was destroyed and seven Israelis were lightly wounded from burns and shrapnel.

The flare-up comes at a highly sensitive time for Israel, which holds elections on April 9.

Israel blamed Hamas for the rocket, but a Hamas source denied the Islamist movement, which rules the Palestinian enclave, was behind it.

Netanyahu planned to cut short his Washington visit due to the security situation and return home after meeting Trump.

 

Story highlights

Witnesses and a security source in Gaza told AFP there had been at least two strikes on a site belonging to Hamas's military wing in the west of the Gaza Strip.