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Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel as tensions continue to rise

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A rocket exploded in southern Israel on Tuesday in the first such attack by militants in the Hamas Islamist ruled Gaza Strip since a truce ended a week of cross-border fighting in November, Israeli police said.

The rocket caused some damage to a road near the city of Ashkelon but no injuries, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

“An explosion was heard in the Ashkelon region experts searched areas experts and found one rocket that struck, damaging a road but causing no injuries,” Rosenfeld said.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility by any militants in Gaza, where Egyptian mediators helped achieve a truce after eight days of punishing Israeli air strikes amid rocket attacks from the coastal territory in late November.

The attack came after the death on Saturday of a Palestinian detainee in Israeli custody which triggered protests in the occupied West Bank.

In the latest violence there, Israeli troops shot and wounded five Palestinians during confrontations with protesters in the Bethlehem area on Monday and a 15-year-old boy was in critical condition.

The disputed death of Arafat Jaradat, buried in a funeral in the Hebron area attended by thousands on Monday, and a hunger strike by four other Palestinian inmates, has stoked tensions ahead of a planned visit next month by U.S. President Barack Obama.