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Israel launches first air strike on Gaza since truce Exchange of fire between Gaza and Israel
(about 11 hours later)
Israel has carried out an air strike on the Gaza Strip for the first time since an eight-day war ended in a truce last November. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired a missile across the border into Israel for the second time in two days.
Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, says aircraft bombed fields near the border and no-one was injured. Hours earlier the Israeli military carried out air strikes in Gaza.
The air strike followed a Palestinian rocket attack on Israel on Tuesday which also caused no injuries. This was the first such strike since a ceasefire ended the short war between Israel and Hamas in November last year.
Israel and Hamas have been observing an Egyptian-mediated truce after last November's fighting. There were no injuries from the Israeli strike nor the Palestinian rocket fire, but Israeli defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel would not allow such firing to become routine.
The Israeli military confirmed the air strikes, saying it had targeted "terror sites" and was "in response to rocket fire". Overnight Israeli planes bombed open land in Northern Gaza. Israel said it was responding to Palestinian rocket fire on Tuesday.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the air strike was near the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya and came after militants in Gaza fired two mortar shells into the western Negev desert. Palestinian militants fired a second rocket on Wednesday morning.
Since the truce came into effect, Israel has eased restrictions on allowing building materials into the Gaza Strip, imposed when Hamas came to power there in 2007. Sirens sounded in the Israeli town of Sderot warning of incoming rockets and forcing residents to take cover.
A BBC correspondent in Gaza, Jon Donnison, says neither Israel nor Hamas are thought to want another escalation in violence but it is a reminder the ceasefire is fragile and that the underlying conflict remains.
Some will fear this could be the start of a familiar cycle of retaliatory attacks from both sides, our correspondent adds.
More than 160 Palestinians and 6 Israelis were killed in 8 days of fighting last November.
The United Nations says four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military action in Gaza since the ceasefire was declared.