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Israel Strikes Target Hamas In Lebanon And Gaza After Rocket Attack

PARIS, France - Israel's military hit sites in Lebanon and Gaza early on Friday, in retaliation for rocket attacks it blamed on the Islamist group Hamas, as tensions following police raids this week on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem threatened to spiral out of control.

Louds blasts rocket different areas of Gaza, as Israel said its jets hit 10 targets including tunnels and weapons manufacturing and development sites of Hamas, which controls the blockaded southern coastal strip.

At around 4.00 a.m., the military said it had also struck three Hamas infrastructure refugee camps near the southern city of Tyre and reported three loud blasts.

''We strongly condemn the blatant Zionist aggression against Lebanon in the vicinity of Tyre at dawn today'', Hamas said.

Two Lebanese security sources said the strike hit a small structure on farmland near the area from which the rockets had been launched earlier.

A member of Lebanon's Civil Defense at the scene on Friday morning said there were no casualties.

The strikes came in response to rocket attacks from Lebanon towards northern Israeli areas, which Israeli officials blamed on Hamas. The military said 34 rockets were launched from Lebanon, of which 25 were intercepted by air defence system. It was the biggest such attack since 2008, when Israel fought a war with the heavily armed Hezbollah movement.

''Israel's response, tonight and later, will exact a significant price for our enemies'', Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following a security cabinet meeting.

As the Israeli jets struck in Gaza, salvoes of rockets were fired in response and sirens sounded in Israeli towns and cities in bordering areas. However there were no reports of serious casualties and only one rocket hit a target, damaging a house in the southern town of Sderot.

The crossboarder strikes came amid an escalating confrontation over Israeli police raids at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year coincides with the Jewish Passover holiday.

''We hold the Zionist occupation fully responsible for the grave escalation and the flagrant aggression against the Gaza Strip and for the consequences that will bring onto the region'', Hamas said in a statement.


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