Radical Islamic group claims responsibility for rocket attack at Israel
A radical Islamic armed group on Friday claimed responsibility for firing a homemade rocket from the Gaza Strip at southern Israeli town of Ashkelon.
The group, calling itself the Brigades of Ansar al-Islam, which belongs to al-Qaida inspired Safaist groups (a Sunni group), said in a leaflet sent to reporters that its militants fired a "Khaibar rocket" at southern Israel on Thursday night, Xinhua reported.
An Israeli army spokesman had said earlier in a statement that a homemade projectile was fired on Thursday night from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel, causing no damages or injuries.
Right after the rocket was fired; Israeli war jets struck several targets at northern and southern Gaza Strip, severe damages were reported, but with no injuries.
Hamas security sources said that the Israeli warplanes raided targets in the town of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza and the city of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.
The Israeli army spokesman said in another statement that the Israeli warplanes also targeted tunnels used by militants to carry out armed attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Israel had warned that those who fire rockets from the Gaza Strip and Israel will pay a heavy price. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak described the Gaza militant groups as "the enemy of Israel."
Early last year Israel carried out a large-scale military offensive against Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip and other minor militant groups. The war lasted three weeks, 1,440 Palestinians were killed in the operation.