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May 26, 1:41 AM EDT

Israeli airstrike hits Hamas sites after Gaza rocket attacks


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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The Israeli military says its aircraft have struck two Hamas militant sites in southern Gaza in response to rocket fire toward Israel.

No one was harmed in Thursday's airstrikes or in the rocket attacks that preceded them.

Gaza militants have carried out only sporadic rocket fire toward Israel since the end of a 50-day war in 2014. The military says nine rockets have struck Israel so far in 2016, a steep drop off from previous periods.

Israel typically responds to the attacks with pinpoint reprisals against Hamas installations that cause no casualties in order to prevent a further escalation.

Recent rocket fire has often been carried out by Salafi groups who oppose Gaza's Hamas rulers. Nonetheless, Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks coming from territory it controls.

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