Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after rocket attacks from Palestinian area

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The Israeli military said it had carried out air strikes on a Hamas training compound in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.

Militants in Gaza have stepped up rocket attacks on Israel since Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the country’s capital. 

They have launched more than a dozen rockets into southern Israel over the last two weeks, the most intensive attacks since a seven-week-long Gaza war in 2014.

Two rockets were fired late on Sunday, one of them exploding inside an Israeli border community and the other hitting an open area, the military said. Another rocket launched early on Monday fell short inside Gaza, it said.

Three structures in a Hamas training camp were hit in the Israeli counter-strike, the military said. Neither side reported any casualties. 

Israel has said it holds the Islamist militant group, which has controlled Gaza for over a decade, responsible for all rocket fire emanating from the territory. 

Hamas usually evacuates such facilities when tensions rise, and Israel’s choice of the low-profile target appeared to signal a desire to avoid more serious confrontation with the group.

“Israel does not seek escalation,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Army Radio.

But Zeev Elkin, another member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said in an interview with the radio station that Israel’s military response would “have to be harshened” if the rocket fire did not stop.

Additional reporting by agencies