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Israel strikes Hamas after new Gaza rocket fire: army

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Jerusalem (AFP)

Several rockets were fired Wednesday from the Gaza Strip at Israel, which responded by striking Hamas military positions in the enclave, the Israeli army said.

The afternoon exchange came a day after rockets fired from the Palestinian territory towards the Israeli city of Ashdod forced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to flee the stage during a campaign rally.

"Three projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel," the Israeli army said in a statement, adding that sirens were triggered in nearby Israeli communities.

In response, it added, a "tank struck two Hamas military posts in the northern Gaza Strip."

The strikes were confirmed by a security source in Gaza, which is controlled by Islamist movement Hamas.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

Overnight Tuesday the Israeli army struck 15 sites it said belonged to Hamas in the northern and central Gaza Strip.

It said the strikes were in response to the rockets fired towards Ashdod which forced Netanyahu to cut short a speech.

The right-wing premier is campaigning for re-election in September 17 parliamentary polls.

On Tuesday Netanyahu announced his intention to annex a large part of the occupied West Bank if re-elected.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

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