Rocket fired from Gaza after Israel uncovers cross-border attack tunnel

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The Israeli army said a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Israel on Tuesday night, soon after announcing the discovery of a tunnel infiltrating Israel from the Palestinian territory.

One rocket “was fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory and was intercepted by the Iron Dome” aerial defense system, the army said in a statement, without indicating if it had caused any casualties or damage.

Air raid sirens sounded in southern Israel near the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Islamist group Hamas.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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Only hours earlier, the Israeli army announced it had found on Tuesday a tunnel that crossed “dozens of meters (yards) into Israel from Gaza”.
It originated in “the southern Gaza Strip, from the Khan Yunis area,” the army said.

Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said the tunnel was a violation of Israel’s sovereignty.

He said Israel did not know who had dug the tunnel, but said it held Hamas responsible for all activity in the Palestinian enclave.

The tunnel was discovered thanks to underground sensors near the border, the army statement said, adding that “there was no threat to nearby Israeli communities.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel would “continue to take determined action... against any attempt to attack our sovereignty or our citizens.”

Authorities have discovered some 20 tunnels originating from Gaza since 2014, Conricus said.

In August, militants in the Gaza Strip launched a string of incendiary balloons and rocket attacks toward Israel, which responded with air strikes on the enclave.

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Hamas and Israel reached an agreement at the end of the month to cease hostilities, although attacks continued.

The deal, mediated by Qatar, aimed to put back on track a fragile Egyptian-brokered truce.

The last reported rocket attack from Gaza was on October 16.

Israel has fought three wars with Hamas since 2008 and there have been numerous flare-ups.

The impoverished and densely populated Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, after Hamas took over the coastal enclave.

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