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Israel launches air strikes in Gaza after rocket fire

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Israel launches air strikes in Gaza after rocket fire

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Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip have killed a senior Hamas militant and injured several people.

They were launched in response to a rocket fired from the territory, which exploded in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

The raids in Gaza targeted sites linked to the enclave’s rulers Hamas and tunnels used for smuggling along the border with Egypt. Around eight people were reported injured.

Israel was reacting to a rocket attack by Palestinian militants which ended more than a year of calm for Ashkelon.

The weapon was said to be a Chinese-made Grad missile, more sophisticated than the crude home-made devices fired regularly until Israel’s Gaza offensive ended in January 2009.

It blew out windows and damaged cars but no-one was injured.

Media in Israel said the country had lodged a protest with the United Nations.