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Israel, Gaza exchange fire after 3 days of calm; 1 man dead

Rockets land near 2 Israeli towns after airstrike kills 1 in Gaza.

Israel gaza khan younis airstrikeEnlarge
Palestinians carry Suleiman Kamel al-Qara's body during his funeral procession in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on October 28, 2012, after he was killed in an Israeli airstrike earlier in the morning. (SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)

An Israeli airstrike today in Gaza killed one Palestinian and injured another as rocket fire landed near two towns in Israel.

The four rockets landed near two cities, but they didn’t hit property or injure anyone, Haaretz reported.

The Israel Defense Force said it targeted a “squad of terrorists attempting to launch rockets aimed at Israeli territory.”

The airstrike hit two men riding a motorcycle in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, Haaretz reported.

According to AFP, armored Israeli forces had earlier entered Gaza and came under fire in a mortar attack.

More from GlobalPost: Israel kills 3 in Gaza after rocket attack

The IDF said the airstrike was to stop militants from firing rockets into Israel, AFP reported.

“Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted a rocket-launching site and squad in the central Gaza Strip, during final preparations to fire a rocket towards southern Israel,” an IDF statement said.

“Secondary explosions were identified and a hit was confirmed.”

AFP identified the dead man as 25-year-old Suleiman Kamel al-Qara, who belongs to Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

The four rockets fell around Eshkol near the Gaza border and the city of Beersheva. The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the rockets that landed near Beersheva.

Witnesses said forces fired at Israeli armor inside Gaza near the city of Khan Yunis, AFP said.

The troops were performing “routine work along the boundary fence,” the IDF told Reuters.

Today’s violence breaks three days of calm, Reuters reported.

Last week, Israel killed four in Gaza as dozens of rockets landed in Israel, injuring several farm workers.

Hamas is attempting to reduce cross-border clashes as it attempts to maintain control of Gaza from smaller factions.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/121028/israel-gaza-exchange-fire-after-3-days