Israel hit by rocket fired from Gaza

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013 14:02

A rocket has exploded in southern Israel in the first such attack by militants in Gaza since a truce ended a week of cross-border fighting in November.

The rocket caused some damage to a road near the city of Ashkelon but no injuries, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's West Bank-based Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the strike, the Palestinian Ma'an news agency said.

There was no military response from Israel.

The attack came after the death on Saturday of a Palestinian detainee in Israeli custody, which triggered protests in the West Bank.

The death in disputed circumstances of Arafat Jaradat and a hunger strike by four other Palestinian inmates have stoked tensions ahead of a planned visit next month by US President Barack Obama.

Israeli troops shot and wounded five Palestinians during confrontations with protesters in the Bethlehem area yesterday and a 15-year-old boy was in critical condition.

At the end of last year, Egyptian mediators helped achieve a truce after eight days of Israeli air strikes amid rocket attacks from the coastal territory.