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Israeli warplanes strike back after Gaza rockets fall

Israeli warplanes responded to overnight rocket fire from Gaza, shaking the fragile six-month ceasefire.

Gaza site of Israeli attackEnlarge
Palestinian youth inspect the damage following an Israeli air raid on al-Zawaida in the central Gaza strip early on June 24, 2013. (Mamud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Warplanes and rockets threatened Israel and Gaza's tenuous six-month ceasefire Sunday night, when militants from the Palestinian territory fired at least six rockets into southern Israel.

Israeli defense forces intercepted two of the rockets, and responded with airstrikes against what they said were weapons caches and a rocket launch site.

"Sites of terrorist infrastructure including two weapon storage facilities in the central Gaza Strip and a rocket launch site in the southern Gaza Strip" were targeted with "accurate strikes," the Israeli military said in a statement.

No deaths or injuries were reported on either side. According to an Israeli police spokesman, the Gazan rockets landed on undeveloped land causing no damage.

No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, but media reports suggested Islamic Jihad could be behind Sunday night's attack.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the rocket attacks were “an intolerable act of aggression against Israel and its civilians,” and that “Hamas is held accountable for all acts of terrorism deriving from the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to the attacks, "My policy is to harm anyone who is trying to hurt us," adding, "We have acted and will continue to act against threats that are near and far."

The incident follows the death of Raed Qassim Jundeyeih, a commander of Islamic Jihad's military arm, who had died in a firefight with Palestinian police. 

The group, which claims about 8,000 fighters and is second only to Hamas in terms of military strength, cut contacts with Hamas after the commander died, an Islamic Jihad leader told Agence France-Presse.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130624/israeli-warplanes-strike-back-after-gaza-missiles