Israeli jets have struck targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired into Israel from the territory early this morning.
The rocket is reported to have struck the southern city of Be’er Sheva – there were no immediate reports of injuries or details of damage.
“At 4:00 AM (0100 GMT) Israelis in the city of Be’er Sheva were running to bomb shelters after a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel,” the Israeli army tweeted.
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“We will defend Israeli civilians,” it added, suggesting there would be a military response.
The Israeli army says it holds the Islamist group Hamas accountable for what is happening in the territory under its control.
It comes at a time of renewed tensions between Israel and Palestinian armed groups and after months of violent Palestinian protests on the Gaza border.
At least 205 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed since March 30.
The protesters were demanding to be allowed to return to land now inside Israel, from which their families fled or were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the Jewish state.
Israel’s Defence Minister yesterday warned that the protests could not be allowed to go on.
“We are not prepared to accept the level of violence we see week after week,” Avigdor Lieberman told troops and commanders at an army base near southern Israel’s border with Hamas-ruled Gaza.
He also suspended shipments of fuel that had been trucked daily into Gaza over the previous week under a deal brokered by the UN and backed by the United States, Israel and others.
The UN says Israel’s 11-year blockade of the enclave has resulted in a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation.
Gaza’s two million residents endure dire living conditions including a shortage of safe drinking water and regular power cuts, partly due to a lack of fuel for the strip’s power station.