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Rockets from Gaza damage homes in Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than a dozen rockets fired from Gaza struck southern Israel in one morning, damaging homes and farmland.

As many as 16 rockets reportedly were fired Monday. Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility. It was the first time in two years, since  Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, that the group has taken responsibility for a rocket attack.

The attacks came after Israel’s Air Force bombed a terror cell in Gaza about to launch a rocket belonging to Hamas’ military wing, according to reports. The IAF attack, in retaliation for rockets shot earlier in the day from Gaza, killed at least one Hamas operative.

Rockets that exploded in a residential neighborhood in southern Israel caused damage to at least two homes, and a farm in the area also suffered damage, reports said.

Monday was the last day of school for Israeli children in elementary school; the schools in the area remained open.

Since the beginning of June, more than 70 rockets have been launched from Gaza at Israel, with at least 40 hitting southern Israel, according to the Israeli military. The Iron Dome anti-missile system has intercepted at least seven rockets heading for populated Israeli areas.

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