Palestinian militants shot a homemade rocket into Israel

An Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at an open field in the northern Gaza Strip early Wednesday, shortly after Palestinian militants shot a homemade rocket into Israel, the army said.

The army said the airstrike targeted an area used by militants to launch rockets. Ground forces also aimed artillery fire at the area, the army said, and several sonic booms caused by Israeli warplanes also were heard in Gaza during the night.

There were no reports of damage or injuries from the airstrike or the rocket attack on the southern Israeli town of Sderot, a frequent target of Palestinian militants. But the fighting added to recent tensions between the sides.

The Islamic Jihad militant group has promised to avenge the killing of Luay Saadi, of one of its top West Bank leaders, by Israel on Monday.

The group launched two homemade rockets into Israel hours after the killing. Israel responded with a series of airstrikes Tuesday at targets in Gaza.

Israel said it would act harshly against any attacks from Gaza following its withdrawal from the coastal strip last month. It carried out a weeklong offensive in mid-September in response to a rocket barrage.

The Palestinian Authority said Tuesday it had deployed troops to areas of northern Gaza to stop the rocket fire. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday condemned the killing of Saadi, but called Islamic Jihad's retaliation "silly", AP reports.

A. A.

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