Israeli air strike targets Hamas in response to rocket attack

JERUSALEM: Israel launched an air strike against a Hamas facility on Thursday in response to a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said.

No one was hurt in the night-time rocket attack on southern Israel, the army said in a statement. There were no immediate reports of any casualties in the Palestinian enclave after warplanes struck what the Israeli military said was a weapons factory belonging to the ruling Hamas Islamist movement.

Salafi jihadist groups that support al Qaeda's calls for a global holy war have claimed most of the sporadic rocket strikes on Israel from the Gaza Strip since the end of a 50-day war a year ago.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's rocket, which exploded in an open area adjacent to the Gaza border, but Israel has said it holds Hamas accountable for any attacks from the enclave of 1.8 million Palestinians.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry website, 11 rockets from the Gaza Strip, excluding the one launched on Thursday, have struck Israel since the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that halted the Gaza war.

Three weeks ago, after a rocket hit southern Israel, Israeli planes bombed a Hamas training camp, wounding four security men. A small Salafi group said it had launched it.