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OPT: Hamas says it fired rockets at Israel from Gaza

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GAZA, April 24 (Reuters) - The armed wing of the militant group Hamas said on Tuesday it had launched rockets into Israel from Gaza to avenge Israeli attacks on West Bank Palestinians, in what would be its first such strikes in five months.

An Israeli army spokesman said six mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday and had fallen in Israel but he could not confirm rocket strikes. There were no reports of casualties.

Hamas, which won a parliamentary election last year, had agreed to a ceasefire in November but had said it would respond to killings of Palestinians. Israel shot dead nine Palestinians, including five militants, in the West Bank over the weekend.

Hamas's armed wing Izz el-Deen al-Qassam said in a statement it had fired up to 30 rockets and 50 mortar shells from the Gaza Strip "in reaction to the continued Zionist crimes against our people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

The group had said its rockets were fired from central and south Gaza but later said more were launched from the north and that they targeted Israeli military bases and communities.

Palestinian militants in Gaza often fire rockets towards Israel, usually following Israeli attacks against Palestinians. Hamas says it has not launched rockets since the truce but last month claimed a Gaza border shooting and mortar shell attacks.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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