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Gaza militants fire on Israel after prisoner death

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Gaza militants fired a rocket into southern Israel on Tuesday, after the death in custody of a Palestinian who suffered from cancer, Israeli police said.

"There was a rocket that was fired," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. "It landed in an open area," he said, adding there were no immediate reports of casualties or property damage.

Earlier in the day Palestinian witnesses told AFP militants in Gaza City had fired three mortar rounds on Israel.

The Israeli army initially said one projectile had landed in the Jewish state, without causing any casualties, but later said nothing had fallen.

A spokeswoman said, however, that military systems detected launches within Gaza but they had fallen short and landed within the strip.

There was no claim of responsibility from the Palestinian side.

The death on Tuesday morning of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, a 63-year-old prisoner from Hebron who had been suffering from throat cancer, sparked Palestinian anger with officials blaming Israel for allegedly refusing to release him early on compassionate grounds.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP the faction was watching the developments with "the greatest concern" and that Israel would "regret its continuing crimes".

It was the third instance of rocket fire since the end of a deadly eight-day confrontation between Israel and Hamas militants in November which ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce that has been almost completely respected.

The last time rocket fire hit Israel was on March 21 during a visit by US President Barack Obama, when two rockets landed causing some damage but no injuries.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130402/gaza-militants-fire-israel-after-prisoner-death-0