Israel Targets Hamas Posts in Response to Gunfire

Israel's army targeted Hamas posts in the Gaza Strip with tank fire early Tuesday after gunfire against its forces, the second such incident in recent days, officials said.

No injuries were reported in the incident along the border separating the northern Gaza Strip, run by Islamist movement Hamas, and Israel.

An interior ministry source in the Gaza Strip said a training site belonging to Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, was hit in the Beit Lahia area.

Two observation posts -- one for al-Qassam and one for militant group Islamic Jihad -- were also targeted, the source said.

Two houses were also damaged in the area, according to the official.

Israel's army spoke of targeting two Hamas posts.

"Shots were fired at IDF forces during routine activity adjacent to the security fence along the northern Gaza Strip," a statement said, referring to the Israeli military.

"In response, the IDF targeted two Hamas posts."

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and there are frequent flare-ups along the border.

Israel regularly responds to rocket fire from militants in Gaza with air strikes.

Last month, it carried out dozens of strikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire, a far larger response than usual.

Some analysts questioned whether the response was the result of a new approach by hardline Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who took office in May.

Recent rocket fire has been claimed by Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip that are rivals to Hamas, but Israel holds Hamas responsible for all such actions since it runs the Palestinian enclave.

Source: Agence France Presse

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