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Israeli air strike kills Gaza militant after rocket fire

Source: Reuters - Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:36 GMT
Author: Reuters
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* Rocket strike causes no casualties or damage

* Palestinian president condemns attack

* Netanyahu calls on Abbas to disarm Gaza factions (Adds Israeli air strike, Netanyahu comments)

JERUSALEM, June 11 (Reuters) - Militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into Israel on Wednesday for the first time since a Palestinian unity government was formed, and hours later Israel carried out a deadly air strike on the coastal territory.

The army said it had targeted militants in the Gaza Strip planning attacks on Israel. One militant was killed, residents said, and two other people were wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire into Israel, which caused no damage or injuries.

After past rocket attacks, Israel has said it holds Hamas, which had ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, responsible. But this time Israel also criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose authority had been limited to the West Bank until the unity deal was reached.

The official Palestinian WAFA news agency said Abbas condemned the attack and called on all Palestinian factions to hold their fire and "not give Israel any pretext" to strike in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Hamas "continues to plan terror attacks against Israeli citizens even when it is in the Palestinian government."

He said Abbas was obliged to disarm the Gaza factions of their weapons.

After the unity government was formed last week, Abbas pledged its continued commitment to existing interim peace deals with Israel. Israel said the administration was a front for Hamas, a group that advocates its destruction, and suspended peace negotiations with the Palestinian leadership. (Reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Eric Walsh)

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