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Testing weapon capabilities, Hamas fires rocket into sea

Lastest launch comes days after IAF hit Gaza in response to missile strike on southern Israel

Raoul Wootliff is the Times of Israel's former political correspondent and producer of the Daily Briefing podcast.

A photo from the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border shows a smoke trail of rockets being fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip into Israel, August 22, 2014. (AFP/Jack Guez)
A photo from the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border shows a smoke trail of rockets being fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip into Israel, August 22, 2014. (AFP/Jack Guez)

Hamas fired a rocket from the northern Gaza Strip into the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, in what Israel believes was likely a test of the group’s rocket systems rather than an attempt to hit Israeli territory.

The missile was likely fired as part of an exercise by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch of the Hamas extremist group that rules the Gaza Strip, the Walla news site reported.

On Sunday night, Israel carried out an air strike in the Gaza in response to a rocket attack earlier in the day, targeting a Hamas installation. The military said it struck Hamas infrastructure in the south of the Strip. There were no reports of Palestinian casualties.

Sunday’s rocket had landed in an open field in southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage. Rocket sirens were triggered in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council for the first time in two weeks.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but Israel has often said it holds Hamas rulers responsible for any and all attacks from the coastal territory.

The Gaza border region has suffered sporadic rocket fire, much of it emanating from Salafist groups within the Palestinian enclave challenging Hamas rule.

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