Rocket from Gaza fired into Israel

JERUSALEM. February 26. KAZINFORM A rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel on Tuesday in the first such attack since a cease-fire took hold in November.

Israeli police said it did not receive any reports of injuries from the rocket, which landed on a road outside the town of Ashkelon, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Gaza.

Israel seized Gaza during the 1967 war, and withdrew settlers from there in 2005.

In the ensuing years, militants in Gaza have regularly launched rocket attacks into southern Israel.

In November, Israel launched a series of military strikes on Gaza designed to stop the constant rocket fire.

Eight days of round-the-clock warfare followed between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls Gaza.

Israel launched the Pillar of Defense offensive, an air operation targeting Hamas military commanders and weaponry.

As the Israeli military pounded Gaza, Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets into Israel, battering the southern region and reaching Israel's two major cities -- Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Israel called up reservists and massed its forces on the Gaza border, threatening a ground invasion. Many feared a repeat of Israel's Operation Cast Lead offensive against Palestinian militants in late 2008, an operation that led to a bloody three-week war.

The fighting in November took its toll: More than 160 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians, were killed. Six Israelis died, including civilians and soldiers. Hundreds were wounded.

The fighting ended after Egypt and the United States helped broker a cease-fire.

It appeared to have lasted -- until Tuesday.

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