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Palestinians fire rocket at southern Israel, army says

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at southern Israel Thursday night, the army said

Published: Updated:

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at southern Israel Thursday night, the army said, the fifth such attack two weeks.

"Moments ago a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip to southern Israel," the army said on Twitter.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, and police said they were trying to locate the point of impact, indicating that it was not in a populated area.

On Sunday, the Israeli air force hit the Gaza Strip after rocket fire from the territory hit southern Israel, the previous night.

There were also retaliatory air strikes after three previous rocket attacks since May 26.

Israel went to war against the Islamist Hamas, the de facto power in Gaza, last summer with the aim of stamping out cross-border rocket and mortar attacks.

The 50-day conflict killed about 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers.

It caused heavy damage to Gaza's infrastructure and damaged more than 160,000 homes.

The latest round of rocket fire is believed to be related to infighting between Gaza's Hamas rulers and its opponents.

Last week, Hamas security forces shot dead a Salafist leader during a confrontation as Hamas stepped up measures against militants belonging to Islamic extremist groups, some of whom are known as Salafists.

There have been growing signs of internal unrest between Hamas security forces and extremist splinter groups.

Salafists are Sunni Muslims who promote a strict lifestyle based on that of early "pious ancestors". In Gaza they have made no secret of their disdain for Hamas over its observance of a tacit ceasefire with Israel and its failure to implement Islamic law.