Gaza mortar shell hits Israel, says army

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Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired a mortar shell that hit southern Israel on Sunday night but caused no casualties or damage, the army said.

“A mortar shell fired from Gaza exploded in an open area near the southern part of the Strip,” a military spokeswoman told AFP, noting there were no casualties or damage.

On Wednesday a projectile fired from the Palestinian enclave hit southern Israel, also causing no injuries or damage, in the first attack from the Hamas-controlled territory since August 18.

Israel holds Islamist rulers Hamas, as the de facto authority in Gaza, responsible for all rocket fire, regardless of which group launches an attack.

The Sunday incident came the same day Israel began allowing deliveries of cement and steel for use by the private sector into the Gaza Strip for the first time in some six years.

Fearing that Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers would use construction materials to fortify its positions and build tunnels to aid attacks on the Jewish state, Israel banned their transfer in 2007.

The Israeli move to allow 70 trucks of construction materials a day into the besieged territory was a gesture to Hamas rival Ramallah-based Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, under whom peace talks with Israel have been recently renewed.

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