Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after rocket fire

Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after rocket fire

Tensions between Gaza's two largest Palestinian militant groups have spilled into the open as Islamic Jihad supporters angrily accused Hamas of not coming to their aid in this week's fighting with Israel. By mid-morning, no more projectiles had been fired from Gaza.

A shaky ceasefire in and around Gaza has been tested after two rockets were fired towards a town in Israel.

Israeli military officials on Thursday said that the Israeli army had made a mistake targeting a building in the Palestinian city of Gaza on Wednesday night that had martyred eight members of a poor family.

The flare-up in violence early Tuesday followed Israeli's tactical strike against Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al Ata, which killed him and his wife.

That strike triggered nearly immediate retaliatory rocket fire from Islamic Jihad at Israel, setting off air-raid sirens and sending Israelis rushing to bomb shelters in the country's southern and central regions.

It then responded with its own air strikes, saying it targeted more Islamic Jihad militant sites and rocket- and missile-launching squads.

Israel said around 450 rockets had been fired at its territory, although air defences had intercepted dozens of them in the sky.

After two days of violence - in which 34 Palestinians died but no Israeli fatalities - a cease-fire was agreed.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports from Gaza.

Israel had so far refrained from attacking Hamas, which has kept to the sidelines, adhering to understandings reached through Egyptian mediators after previous rounds of fighting with Israel.

A military spokesperson told Efe news that this was the first time in the last few days that Israel had struck Hamas targets.

'Hamas will bear the consequences for actions against Israeli civilians, ' it said in a statement. "And all of our operations were measured, proportionate and focused only on military assets belonging to Islamic jihad", he said.

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